Coro­n­avirus pa­tient takes Uber to hos­pi­tal

Pa­tient with coro­n­avirus was among 250 vis­i­tors to sum­mit in West­min­ster be­fore be­ing di­ag­nosed

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Pa­trick Sawer, Laura Don­nelly and Yo­hannes Lowe

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.