Coronavirus terror: Virus may swarm London as expert fears tube is ‘network’ for spreading
The coronavirus has officially hit London with the ninth case of the disease confirmed in Lewisham yesterday. A woman arrived at Lewisham Hospital on Sunday night after taking an uber to A&E.
Concern among health care professionals has rapidly increased following the news that nine cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in London.
Experts fear that the disease’s emergence in the capital will lead to a rapid spread of the virus.
Dr Robin Thompson, an expert in mathematical epidemiology at Oxford University recently told the Daily Mail the virus could spread quicker in highly populated areas.
He said: “In general, if an initial case is in a densely populated area, then the risk of sustained person-to-person transmission following is higher.”
The expert expressed fears the disease could skyrocket through the capital, describing London transport as a ‘network’ for spreading disease.
He added: “This is exacerbated by the fact that London is a transport hub, and the Underground could provide a network to spread the virus quickly.”
A rapid spread of the disease is a major concern for the NHS which reportedly can only test a maximum of 1,000 patients in a day.
In a recent appearance on Radio 4’s Today programme, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said officials were hoping to delay the spread of the coronavirus in this country until the summer.
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He said: “Delay is the next stage of what we need to do because if we are going to get an outbreak in the UK – this is an if, not a when – but if we do, putting it back in time into the summer period, away from winter pressures on the NHS, buying us a bit more time to understand the virus better… is a big advantage.”
Other parts of London may already be affected after paramedics in hazmat suits turned up to a flat in Paddington, central London, after a patient reported symptoms yesterday morning.
Elsewhere, two GP surgeries have been closed after patients with suspicious symptoms turned up unannounced.
The Ritchie Street Health Centre in Islington, north London, recently posted an alarming message on its website stating it would be closed “due to the coronavirus”.
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The Ferns Medical Practice in Farnham, Surrey, is said to be undertaking a deep clean after a patient had come in after visiting “one of the affected coronavirus areas”.
Across Britain, 2,512 people have been tested since last month.
Patients with suspected coronavirus have swabs taken of their nose and throat which are sent to one of 12 labs across the UK, including in ones in London.
Swabs are also being sent to labs in Cambridge, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The news comes after a woman with who contracted the coronavirus turned up to Lewisham hospital in an Uber.
The patient is the ninth confirmed case of the virus in the UK.
Her arrival marked a major breach of public health advice and the two health workers who came into contact with her have been told to isolate themselves.
The patient has come into contact with two nurses and an Uber driver and the two health workers who came into contact with her have been told to isolate themselves.
The Uber driver’s account is currently suspended.
Official advice from Public Health England states that anyone who suspects they have coronavirus should stay at home.
The current advice is to call NHS 111 from home and await transport to the nearest hospital assessment pod.
The patient was marked the first case of the deadly virus to hit London which could have devastating effects for the rest of the country.
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