NHS hospitals create coronavirus isolation PODS

NHS hospitals create coronavirus isolation PODS in car parks to keep potentially infected people away from overcrowded A&E departments

  • NHS hospitals are installing coronavirus isolation pods in their car parks 
  • The pods are being created in metal shipping containers for potential patients
  • Specialist medics will assess patients to determine whether they are at risk 
  • NHS chiefs do not want an infected person going to a crowded A&E unit  

Hospitals have been ordered to establish Coronavirus isolation pods in car parks to keep potentially infected people away from Accident and Emergency Units. 

One of the first hospitals in the country to introduce its pod was the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where Britain’s first cases were confirmed.  

The pods are designed to keep people who suspect they may be carrying the virus away from vulnerable people.

NHS hospitals have been ordered to establish Coronavirus isolation pods in car parks away from Accident and Emergency Units to prevent possible further infection 

Patients who suspect they may have the disease are asked to wait in the pods for assistance 

Medics have been equipped with protective clothing to help reduce the chance of spreading the highly-contagious virus 

Pods are to be rolled out at every hospital in the UK, the NHS said.

Brighton is at the centre of the outbreak in Britain with one super spreader at the source of all but two cases in the UK.

A sign inside a doorway next to A&E says: ‘NHS 111 Coronavirus priority assessment pod this way’.

Health officials are increasingly concerned about the possibility of mass infections. 

Once in a pod, the patient can call a dedicated response team who will determine the risk of infection based upon their recent travel and interactions.  

Meanwhile, dozens of Britons who were rescued from the Chinese city of Wuhan amid the coronavirus outbreak are to be freed after two weeks in quarantine, as a woman in London became the ninth person to test positive for the illness.

Eighty-three people will leave Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside on Thursday, 14 days after they arrived on an evacuation flight.

All of the group – who had signed a contract agreeing to the quarantine period – have tested negative for the virus.

It comes after a ninth UK case was confirmed on Wednesday evening – the first instance of coronavirus in London.

The patient, who is now being treated at a specialist NHS centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in the capital, got the virus in China, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said.

As with the previously confirmed cases, officials are working to identify recent contacts she had.

A patient has been admitted to a clinic at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. The patient picked up the virus while in China according to England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty

Kharn Lambert, one of the quarantined patients in Merseyside, told the PA news agency ahead of the release: ‘I’m ecstatic and I’m so happy that everyone has come back with negative test results.’

During their time in quarantine one of the group had threatened to abscond from the isolation unit, prompting the Government to announce new legal powers allowing people with the illness to be forcibly quarantined, and forcibly sent into isolation if deemed to pose a threat.

The evacuated group’s release comes a day after Steve Walsh, the businessman at the centre of the UK outbreak of coronavirus, was given the all-clear and discharged from hospital.

Mr Walsh, a 53-year-old scout leader from Hove in East Sussex, contracted coronavirus on a business trip to Singapore – and is linked to five other people diagnosed with it in the UK.

On his way back to the UK from Singapore, he stopped off at a ski region in France, where five other Britons were subsequently infected with coronavirus, now also known as Covid-19.

Mr Walsh is also linked to a Briton taken ill in Majorca, taking the number of confirmed cases linked to him to 11.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) cautioned that while the number of newly confirmed cases reported in China has stabilised, it remains a threat.

‘This outbreak could still go in any direction,’ director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing on Wednesday at which he said the organisation is developing a ‘masterplan’ to tackle the virus, which will focus on diagnostics and treatments.

Dr Paul Cosford, from Public Health England, on Wednesday admitted more cases of coronavirus in the UK are ‘highly likely’ due to people returning after travelling abroad.

While researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have estimated the number of new coronavirus cases in Wuhan could peak by the end of the month, the WHO said it is too early to make such a prediction.

Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, told the briefing: ‘I think it’s way too early to try and predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic.’

Elsewhere a major technology show has been cancelled after a number of firms pulled out over coronavirus fears.

Organisers of the Mobile World Congress, which had been due to take place in Barcelona at the end of the month, said it had become ‘impossible’ to hold it this year due to ‘global concern’ around the outbreak.

Of the nine people so far diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK, two are GPs.

Officials know that the pair worked at a nursing home, Worthing Hospital A&E and two GP practices between them.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed on Wednesday it has traced and advised all close contacts of the two GPs, including about 12 patients.

Meanwhile, in Brighton, pupils at several schools have been told they could stay at home after reports that some teachers and families feared they had come into contact with the virus.

The Department for Education has issued advice to schools to follow instructions given by PHE regarding self-isolation for people who have recently travelled from Wuhan or specified countries.

There have been more than 44,700 cases of the virus in China, with more than 1,100 deaths.

In the rest of the world more than 400 cases have been confirmed across 24 countries. One death has occurred outside China.

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