Authorities tight-lipped on Farnham coronavirus scare

Monday 17th February 2020 5:09 pm
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Farnham Centre for Health ()

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PUBLIC Health England has refused to disclose whether a patient of a Farnham GP practice found to have recently travelled to one of the affected coronavirus areas has tested positive or negative.

The Ferns Medical Practice, at the Farnham Centre for Health, was closed "as a precautionary measure" on Wednesday, February 13 after a patient was found to have recently travelled to the Far East.

It reopened a day later after a "deep clean" and reassured its patients that "all measures are being put in place to assure public and staff safety".

But when asked by the Herald if the patient at the centre of the scare has been screened or quarantined, a Public Health England spokesman said it would not share any further information because of "patient confidentiality".

The Ferns has, however, itself confirmed "in the unlikely event that the suspected case of coronavirus is confirmed", Public Health England will perform contact tracing and get in touch with anyone that may have been in contact with the patient.

A statement released by the practice after it received the all clear added: "We are asking people to take simple and common-sense steps like you would with other flu viruses.

"So always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue.

"Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, if soap and water are not available. The NHS is well prepared and all our local services are open as normal."

Anyone who has developed a cough or shortness of breath, or has a fever and have returned from China/Asia, or been in contact with anyone that has come from China/Asia in the last 14 days, is asked to not visit their GP surgery, but:

• Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu

• Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.

The Department of Health said on Sunday that 3,109 tests for Coronavirus had been carried out in the UK so far, with nine positive results.

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