Public Health England director: 'Coronavirus likely to already be in the UK'

Channel: Sky News
Published: 12 hours ago

The deadly coronavirus that has killed 80 people in China is likely to already be in the UK, according to England's director for health protection. Dr Yvonne Doyle told Sky News: "The most likely place that we're going to find a case is someone who is in the country already." SUBSCRIBE to our You

Like any watching cave, only at breakfast 80 people managed have died from the coronavirus in china with nearly 3000 others. Infected joining me is dr. , yvonne doyle, medical director and director for health protection for public health, england, hello to you. Thanks for joining us. Do we have a plan to track the 2,000 or so people who actually arrived from wuhan recently? How do we do that? Well ...
okay, what we've been doing since we spotted that this could be a big problem, is intensifying our work on this in a number of settings, including in airports, and so when it became clear that direct flights were coming through regularly, not just from ohan, but from Other parts of china, where there could be infections, we've been ready with a team of doctors to meet those who meet our criteria really for if they may be ill with something that needs further investigation and, of course, that the case definition the kind of criteria for That are that somebody has a fever, a cough difficulty breathing and has been connected with wuhan in the past 14 days. Now the people who you're describing here - and we are now looking back to see whether any of them are still in the country, because some of them will have returned to china. But there are there, are moves to identify them, not always possible to find everybody. But we're working to our best endeavors. The problem is, though, doctor i mean i was in helsinki yesterday. There were flights coming in from beijing and tokyo and other parts of the far east, those off the flights were wearing their masks. One wonders how it affected those masks are, but it's not just wuhan anymore, so it's very quickly able to spread this virus and the fact that it has an incubation period of a couple of weeks. So you don't even know people had it until the perhaps they've left the country.

Well, we're learning a lot about the virus. I want to say we're well prepared, okay. So, as i say, since we spotted this in the early new year, ourselves, we've been intensifying our work across government, but also at the nhs, because our view is actually, although airports seem important, the most likely place that we may find the case is someone who's in The country already and it's absolutely critical - that public health service and the nhs are ready to both diagnose that and then to designate the person to the right facilities. Now we've set all that up and i think i want your viewers to be reassured that we and the nhs are ready for that. That'S the most likely scenario we're dealing with. We don't know where all these people are they're doing it's impossible to know where they are in the country, whether they're, even still here, we make our best endeavours to do just that, but, as i say, people will have returned. Of course, within the 14 days they may have been here for short periods, but to come back to airports, although we have a lot of work going on with the air for the main airports, where this is relevant, the most likely situation, if we get a case, Is that the person is in the country? What about these masks? I touched on that? Are they in any way effective when masks are very important in hospitals and they, particularly in itu and the intensive side, but whether they're in any relevance out on the street, because people forget how to use them properly? What'S much more important is that people are aware of personal hygiene hand washing and the catch had been. It kill it back to the old public health outage that you know if your state is probably a respiratory virus, so droplet infection important use, a tissue, throw it away, wash your hands, that's actually more effective yeah and i was it: don't touch metal because metal, the Bugs can live longer on metal than anywhere else. Is that just a no wives tale or no yes, i mean people will be a weary of what they touch, but actually the important thing is it's droplets and hands. Yes, so keep keep your hands clean, i'll, just wash them so, okay, i'm guessing though you know, to all intents and purposes we will have some cases of the corona virus, and here in the uk already i would expect so and that's the coming back to the Point that that's the scenario we have been preparing for that we are ready, don't assume, because this is a virus that we can diagnose it immediately. Our scientists actually have developed a screening for viruses that will detect this. The one of the first countries in the world that are able to do that that's hugely reassuring and the tests are being transmitted through a particular lab that has that expertise once you've diagnosed it.

Then we have a path for how to deal with it so that patients are dealt with in the most effective way and you're, not alarmed that. It'S probably here already, i think, with infections k, health is global and we've been here before you know we had to deal with this middle-eastern virus. We'Ve dealt with sars. We deal with flu regularly, which can be very alarming as well and very, very dangerous. So we're ready we've got a very good invention service, okay, doctors good to talk to you thanks very much indeed, for a kiss. Thank you.

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