‘Don’t visit your GP’: Texts sent to Lincoln patients returning from China

People in Lincoln have received text messages telling them not to visit their GP if they have returned from China in the last fortnight and are feeling unwell.

It’s part of local measures to prevent the spread of the infectious Coronavirus which has made its way to the UK.

People in Lincoln who have returned from Wuhan in the last 14 days and developed a fever, are advised by Health England to stay indoors and avoid contact with others,.

Patients at some GPs in Lincoln city centre received text messages from their surgeries advising that if they have returned from mainland China in the last 14 days and are feeling unwell to not attend the surgery.

Instead, they should call the NHS 111 helpline.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust previously said it was taking advice from Public Health England on the issue.

The University of Lincoln also said it is offering support and guidance to staff and students with connections to China and Wuhan.

China’s National Health Commission said new figures show the virus has killed 636 people and infected 31,161 in mainland China at the time of writing.

Public Health England said as of February 6, a total of 566 UK tests have concluded, of which 563 were confirmed negative and three positive.

Some 1,466 passengers and 95 staff arrived in the UK on direct flights from Wuhan between January 10 to 24. 162 passengers and 53 of the crew have already left the UK. According to Public Health’s latest online information, the remaining 1,304 passengers are outside of the incubation period.

Public Health England previously advised that isolating yourself from other people, like you would with other flu viruses, is “in step with the best scientific and expert advice on how to stop the Coronavirus from spreading”.

It is advised to remain at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province (or elsewhere in China if you have symptoms) and not going to work, school or public areas.

A leaked NHS letter reportedly said all NHS hospitals in England were ordered to create secure areas for Coronavirus testing to “avoid a surge in emergency departments”. Hospitals were told to create “Coronavirus priority assessment pods” where people will be checked for the virus and will be decontaminated each time they are used.

It is understood the letter instructs all chief executives and medical directors to have the pods up and running no later than February 7.

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