NHS Foundation Trust says there is "no risk" to others as patients with coronavirus are treated in Newcastle

Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that there is "no risk” to others as patients are receiving treatment for coronavirus in a North East hospital.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 2:50 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 7:32 pm

On Friday, January 31, it was confirmed that the first known cases of coronavirus in the UK by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in its specialist Airborne High Consequences Infectious Disease Centre (HCID) as two members of the same family have tested positive.

Following concerns from locals in the region, the Foundation Trust released an update on their website claiming that the public and staff should not be worried.

The statement reads: “We are currently treating patients with a respiratory illness known as Coronavirus.

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A woman wears a mask in Newcastle, near where two patients, who have tested positive for coronavirus elsewhere in England, are bring treated in the city's Royal Victoria Infirmary's high consequence infectious disease unit. Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

“Our hospital is one of five highly specialised infectious diseases units capable of dealing with this illness.

“You should not be concerned - there is no risk to other patients and visitors.

“All of our services are operating as usual. If you have a hospital appointment, please attend this as planned.”

The first cases diagnosed in the UK were announced as more than 80 Britons on an evacuation flight from Wuhan were due to land in the UK.

Guidance for travellers from Wuhan from the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England says they should remain at home for 14 days and avoid public areas and visitors, like they would with other flu viruses.

Coronavirus was raised earlier this week by county councillors, who slammed the government for the lack of guidance provided to local authority bosses.

In a statement on Friday about the first two confirmed UK cases, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: "We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.”

Chinese health officials confirmed on the morning of Friday, January 31 that the death toll in the country from the virus had risen to 213 with the number of known cases rising from 7,711 to 9,692.

No deaths have occurred outside China, although 82 cases have been confirmed across 18 different countries.