Coronavirus patient takes Uber to hospital
Patient with coronavirus was among 250 visitors to summit in Westminster before being diagnosed
Two medical workers were sent into isolation after a woman suffering from coronavirus arrived at a London hospital in an Uber, as the capital tried to contain the outbreak. The Chinese woman, London’s first coronavirus patient, went to A&E after falling ill on her return from China. Two medical staff who came into contact with her were sent home for 14 days of isolation. Meanwhile, more than 80 people quarantined after being flown out of China were allowed home.
ONE of the UK’S nine confirmed coronavirus patients attended a conference in central London last week alongside 250 people before they were diagnosed, it emerged last night.
Organisers of the UK Bus Summit, which took place on Tuesday Feb 6, wrote to attendees yesterday under the instruction of Public Health England to inform them they may have come into contact with a person confirmed to have the virus.
Among the speakers slated to attend the Transport Time event were MPS and industry leaders.
The one-day conference was held in Westminster at the QEII Centre, one of London’s largest conference halls.
In an email, delegates were told to stay indoors and avoid contact with others if they were symptomatic, according to the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, the mother of the youngest person believed to be self-isolating because of the virus said he was displaying symptoms.
Stephanie Adlam and her eightmonth-old son James came into contact at Worthing Hospital, West Sussex, with the medic who has been diagnosed with the virus when James was admitted on Feb 2. They were subsequently told to self-isolate at home, she told The Sun. Ms Adlam will receive test results tomorrow.
It emerged yesterday that two medical workers were sent into isolation after a woman suffering from coronavirus arrived at a London hospital in an Uber.
The Chinese woman, who was later confirmed to be the capital’s first coronavirus patient, turned up unannounced at University Hospital Lewisham after falling ill on her return from China. Two medical staff who came into contact with her were then sent home for 14 days of isolation.
The drama came amid heightened tension in the face of the virus’s arrival in London, with a surgery shut, a man escorted into an ambulance by medics in hazmat suits and two people taken to hospital after falling ill.
Meanwhile, more than 80 people quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral after being flown out of China were allowed to leave following 14 days of isolation.
The Chinese woman went to University Hospital Lewisham’s A&E department on Sunday afternoon, a few days after arriving at Heathrow, rather than going to the ambulance bay to be met by trained staff in hazmat suits, contrary to public advice. On arrival, the woman was given a mask and escorted to a testing area by staff before being taken home by ambulance to await the results.
She was then transferred on Wednesday to a specialist centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, where she is receiving treatment.
The Uber driver’s account has since been suspended pending monitoring of their condition, though Public Health England regards the risk of infection as low given the short period of contact with the woman.
The Chinese woman is the ninth person in the UK confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus, with six in Brighton and two in York.
Ben Travis, chief executive of Lewisham and Greenwich NHS trust, said: “Throughout their care, the patient was escorted and did not come into contact with other patients. All staff who had direct contact with the patient have been contacted, including two members of staff who are undergoing active surveillance at home.” Government sources said efforts to trace those with whom the woman had contact with were focused on the 48 hours before she arrived at the hospital, as they believe she was asymptomatic – and unlikely to pass on the virus – during her journey home from Heathrow.
Separately, in Brighton a school pupil may have to go into quarantine after receiving a lift from a taxi driver who had ferried a coronavirus patient to hospital. The driver was said to have taken the child to a special needs school on two occasions after earlier picking up one of several people found to have the virus in Sussex.
In Paddington, west London, paramedics in hazmat suits were filmed escorting a man out of a flat and into an ambulance. And on Wednesday evening, staff in hazmat protection suits began cleaning communal areas of a 37-storey residential development at Elephant & Castle, south London, after two residents who had fallen ill were taken from the building by ambulance.
Top, Matt Raw leaves quarantine on the Wirral after returning from Wuhan. Left, ambulance staff in hazmat suits at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Above, cleaning work at flats in Elephant and Castle, where two residents fell ill