Coronavirus: search for patients treated by infected healthcare staff
Two medical centres close in Brighton as government announces new quarantine powers
Healthcare officials are working to trace the patients of two healthcare staff who are among eight people in the UK to be diagnosed with coronavirus.
The pair, who work in general practice in Brighton, are believed to have been in contact with around a dozen patients.
They were two of four new cases announced on Monday, all of whom contracted the virus in France and are now being treated at specialist infection centres at St Thomas’ Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Urgent race to define circle of contamination
In a statement on Monday, Public Health England (PHE) medical director Yvonne Doyle said: ‘We are working urgently to identify all patients and other healthcare workers who may have come into close contact, and at this stage we believe this to be a relatively small number.’
The Guardian reported that the four people newly diagnosed are three men, one of whom is a doctor, and one woman.
Two Brighton GP centres shut to the public
As the new cases were announced, the County Oak Medical Centre in Brighton closed its doors because of what it called ‘an urgent operational health and safety reason’.
One of the people newly diagnosed is reportedly a health worker at the centre.
On Tuesday morning it emerged that a second branch of County Oak, located less than two miles away in Deneway, has also been closed.
Government reveals new powers to detain people with coronavirus
The new coronavirus has been officially named as Covid-19 - which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, the World Health Organization said.
The four new cases in the UK were announced as the government declared coronavirus a serious and imminent threat to public health.
Announcing new legal powers on Monday, the Department of Health and Social Care said people with coronavirus can now be forcibly quarantined, and can be put into isolation if they pose a threat.
People from the UK who have been flown back from Wuhan in China are being quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside and Kents Hill Park conference centre in Milton Keynes.
The first two people in the UK confirmed to have coronavirus – a University of York student and their relative – are being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary infectious diseases centre in Newcastle.
There have been more than 42,600 cases of the virus globally.
- Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) guidance for health professionals (Public Health England)
- Coronavirus: latest information and advice (Department of Health and Social Care)
In other news