Staff and facilities at St Mary’s Hospital are being prepared for the possibility that the coronavirus could make its way to the Isle of Wight – but all steps are simply precautionary at this moment in time.
A ‘pod’ has been established in Newport as a safe location for anyone presenting with symptoms of coronavirus to be directed to. These pods are being created throughout the country following guidance issued by NHS England.
Anyone with a cough, fever, or shortness of breath who attends hospital and has recently returned from one of the specified countries, will be advised to follow signs to the Island’s pod and call for advice, so they stay isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E.
Islanders are however being urged to call 111 first before taking any other action – including visiting the hospital – if they suspect they have contracted the virus. They will then be directed to the pod in a controlled manner.
Staff at the Trust were informed of the plans and procedures yesterday afternoon.
Although the risk remains low, the deadly virus could soon find its way to the Isle of Wight as it has already hit the South Coast. Over 1,100 people have died from coronavirus – also known as COVID-19 – with more than 44,600 people infected worldwide.
Anyone returning from the Wuhan and Hubei provinces in the last 14 days should stay indoors, avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111 whether or not they are showing symptoms. Follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.
Travellers from other parts of China and other specified areas
This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau.
If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:
- 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 most up to date information on Coronavirus, including travel information on countries affected, can be found here.