Coronavirus: three more cases in UK amid fears over strain on NHS – The Guardian,

Coronavirus: three more cases in UK amid fears over strain on NHS – The Guardian,

A school pupil and a music teacher are among the latest coronavirus cases confirmed in the UK as concern grows about the impact of the outbreak on an already stretched NHS .

London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama said it would close for up to a fortnight after one of its teachers was diagnosed with the virus. He is being treated at a specialist isolation unit at the Royal Free hospital in north London, and the school is contacting his pupils.

Three patients in England tested positive for Covid – (on Monday, bringing the total number of UK cases to 63. A clinician at Mount Vernon Cancer Center was confirmed positive but then tested negative, East and North Hertfordshire NHS trust said.It had earlier warned the public not to panic, saying any risk to patients was low.

Meanwhile, a survey showed that an overwhelming majority of doctors fear the NHS is ill-prepared to deal with a major outbreak. More than (% of 1, 500 medics questioned by the Doctors’ Association did not agree that the service is well prepared to cope if it is hit by an epidemic.

Boris Johnson accepted that a large-scale outbreak was now “very likely”, while Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that up to four out of five Scots could become infected.

“We’re expecting perhaps % or as much as % of the population would be infected during that epidemic, ”she said. The Scottish government is preparing for up to 728, severely affected patients to require hospital treatment in a worst-case scenario.

Johnson urged the public to help stop the spread of the disease after signing off schemes that are expected to involve asking doctors and nurses to come out of retirement if the virus hits the NHS workforce.

Boris Johnson says coronavirus is ‘likely to spread’ – video

Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of Anglia, said the government should be planning for a situation where half the NHS workforce becomes ill.

“In an ideal world it would not be safe for doctors to come out of retirement, but if half your medical workforce is off sick then that’s probably the least bad option,” he said. “It probably won’t get that bad but I wouldn’t bet against it. So it is a sensible contingency plan for doctors to come back into practice if they want to. ”

A family doctor in Brighton and a member of staff at Worthing hospital, West Sussex, were among the first coronavirus cases to be identified in Britain last month.

There were concerns last week that a Surrey GP may also have been infected. The regional director for Public

Health England said on Monday that none of the four patients in a cluster in the county were GPs or health workers.

A Guardian straw poll of retired doctors and nurses found most were skeptical about the idea of ​​returning to work to tackle the likely crisis. Eighteen opposed the idea, saying it would not be safe for them or their patients, and of the who said they would be prepared to return to work, seven expressed safety concerns and reservations.

The World Health Organization is recommending that people take simple precautions to reduce exposure to and transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus, for which there is no specific cure or vaccine.

The UN agency

advises people to:

Tweet : “Retired clinicians would have a huge amount to offer and many would want to help.” But she raised a number practical considerations including the greater risk to older medics if they contract the virus.

The General Medical Council said it had been working with the government on a plan. Prof Colin Melville, its medical director, said: “We could, if necessary, grant temporary registration for the duration of the emergency to certain groups of appropriate people to supplement doctor numbers and provide cover in a range of roles. The first group we would grant temporary registration to is doctors who have recently relinquished their license to practice, for example because they have recently retired. ”

He added:“ We understand that there could be health or personal reasons why some of those doctors would not feel they could return to work, and they would be able to opt out. ”

Two of the latest UK patients to test positive are from south Devon, and there were unconfirmed reports that one is a pupil at Churston Ferrers grammar school. The school was one of five in Devon to close over coronavirus fears on Monday. Its website said it would also be shut on Tuesday.

The global coronavirus death toll surpassed 3, (on Monday and South Korea reported another) cases.

Some of the British guests at a quarantined hotel in Tenerife are due fly back to the UK after testing negative for coronavirus.

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