The children’s outpatient department at QEQM Hospital in Margate has been closed after a patient -understood to be a child – presented with the possibility of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) virus today (March 4).
It is understood a member of the person’s family had previously been tested for the virus, prompting the disclosure of contact. It is not known whether the family member was positive for the virus. The department has been closed for a precautionary deep clean.
An NHS spokesperson, said: “The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital is open as usual and patients should continue to attend their outpatient appointments and planned procedures. Some appointments are being relocated while the Broadstairs Suite is temporarily closed to enable a clean as a precautionary measure. We apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused.”
As of today (March 4) there are 85 confirmed cases in the UK with 80 of those in England.
Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty said:As of 9am this morning 32 further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Twenty-nine patients were diagnosed who had recently travelled from recognised countries or from recognised clusters which were under investigation.
“Three additional patients contracted the virus in the UK and it is not yet clear whether they contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad. This is being investigated and contact tracing has begun.
“The total number of confirmed cases in England is now 80. Following previously reported confirmed cases in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the total number of UK cases is 85.”
At least one confirmed case is a Kent resident. They are currently at a treatment centre in London.
A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
Taking basic hygiene precautions as the best way of significantly reducing the chances of spreading any virus: sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it, wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.
Current evidence indicates that most cases appear to be mild, with patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Older residents or those with weakened immune systems or long-term conditions may experience more severe symptoms.
People who have recently travelled to an affected area or been in contact with someone who has, and think they have symptoms associated with the coronavirus, should not go to A&E or their doctor but self-isolate at home and ring NHS 111 which has an online coronavirus service.
QEQM isolation pod
A Coronavirus Priority Assessment Service – isolation pod – is currently in place at QEQM Hospital as part of NHS England guidelines for each health organisation to have at least one receiving unit.
The pod, located near the A&E steps, is away from normal clinical areas to protect patients elsewhere across the site from unnecessary risk of potential exposure and to safeguard normal business as usual processes of the department in question.