Coronavirus: nurse in self-isolation says process is ‘not being dealt with effectively’

Anyone asked to go into self-isolation should stay at home for 14 days, says Public Health England

A woman standing alone at a window, looking outside. People who have had close, sustained contact with a person confirmed to have coronavirus are being told to self-isolate for 14 days
Public Health England advice says people in self-isolation should remain at home for 14 days
Picture: iStock

A nurse who is in self-isolation in line with government instructions to stop the spread of coronavirus in the UK has criticised the way the infection prevention method is being managed.

The unnamed nurse, who was exhibiting some of the symptoms of the strain of coronavirus known as Covid-19, says she was told to self-isolate by Public Health England (PHE) after coming into direct, sustained contact with a person who was being tested for the virus.

She said she was sent home in a taxi, in which she was wearing a medical mask but the driver was not, and told Brighton newspaper The Argus that self-isolation ‘is not being dealt with effectively’.

Wait for advice on getting tested for the virus

The nurse said she was given little advice about how to stop the spread of the virus when she arrived home and had to rely on grocery and takeaway deliveries to her doorstep.

She added that after initially calling NHS 111, she had to wait 15 hours to get advice from PHE on how to get tested.

‘Since I found out, I’ve had to get everyone out of my house to protect them,’ she told the newspaper.

‘This is not being dealt with effectively. I thought there would be a plan in place for something like this, but in my case, I know there wasn’t one.’

The meaning of ‘close and sustained contact’ in a confirmed coronavirus case

PHE said it would not comment on individual cases.

Its advice states that ‘close and sustained contact’ means being within two metres of someone who has a confirmed clinical case of the virus, for a period of at least 15 minutes.

Anyone asked to go into self-isolation should stay at home for 14 days and avoid having visitors, it says.

As of 13 February, a total of 2,521 coronavirus tests have been carried out in the UK and nine people have tested positive.

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