Two new, positive cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) have been identified in Medway today (March 7)
This brings the cases for Kent and Medway to 4. All are related to a Maidstone man who was diagnosed with the virus on March 2 after returning from Italy. Although tests have taken place in Thanet there are no confirmed cases among isle residents.
Specialists from Public Health England (PHE) are working with Medway Council and NHS colleagues following the confirmed cases.
Alison Barnett, Centre Director for Public Health England South East, said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with the latest confirmed case of COVID-19. These cases are residents of Medway.
“Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”
As of 7am today, 21,460 people have been tested in the UK, of which 21,254 were confirmed negative and 206 were confirmed as positive. Two patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
Health and local authorities are appealing for people to follow national Government guidance to prevent further spread of the illness and limit the numbers affected.
This guidance includes 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.
A new £46 million government package includes funding for urgent work to find a coronavirus vaccine and develop a rapid test for the disease.
Supported by UK funding, eight possible coronavirus vaccines are currently under development and efforts are being made to get any viable vaccines from sequencing of the virus to clinical testing in under a year – a record timeframe. Governments around the world could then work with pharmaceutical companies to get vaccines into production and use.
Details on testing across the UK are published daily at 2pm and include a breakdown of negative and positive tests.