IMPORTANT UPDATE ON Covid-19 (CORONAVIRUS)

If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) or have returned from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Macau in the last 14 days and feel unwell, please stay indoors and phone 111 to speak with the NHS 111 service for advice. Do NOT attend the surgery. We are unable to arrange necessary tests.

The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
• Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
• Call 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.

Do NOT go to the GP Practice.

Information for the public is available at gov.uk/coronavirus
Like the common cold, Covid-19 infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with the virus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with Covid-19 or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safeties are a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

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 if soap and water is not available.
• 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.
• If you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or another healthcare environment.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment

Six countries added to Coronavirus critical list.
The Department of Health has added Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Northern Italy to the list of places which will need to follow clinical advice.
This means if individuals have returned from these specific areas since Feb 19, they should call the NHS 111 service and stay indoors to avoid contact with other people – even if they do not have symptoms.
They are:
1. Iran
2. Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the government
3. Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the government
4. Hubei province

If individuals have returned from the following areas since Feb 19 and develop symptoms, however mild, they should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call 111.
They do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms, the Department of Health said.
1. Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
2. Vietnam
3. Cambodia
4. Laos