The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well-prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases.
To date there are nine patients in England who have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, none of whom are in the West Midlands region. Of the remaining 5540 tests that have been undertaken in the UK, all have been confirmed as negative. The risk to individuals in the UK remains low.
A number of new blogs have been published with key questions and answers about COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, and information about contact tracing and self-isolation:
- Coronavirus - what you need to know
- Expert interview: what is contact tracing
- What is self-isolation and why is it important?
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Key advice for returning travellers
Further information for the public about the situation can be found on the Public Health England site - Coronavirus information and advice
Detailed information and advice for the public is now being hosted on the NHS.uk website - Coronavirus (COVID-19)
It is recommended that all travellers who have symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, however mild, and have returned from any of the following specified countries within the last 14 days should self-isolate at home immediately and call NHS 111. Specified countries include: China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau,
However, if you have specifically returned from Wuhan or Hubei province in the last 14 days, please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus:
- stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses
- call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city
Current advice is against all travel to Hubei province, and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (with the exception of Hong Kong and Macao). British nationals are also now advised to leave China if they are able. Updated travel advice.