Team24 Blog

Coronavirus Update: Advice for Health and Social Care Professionals

As you will no doubt be aware, the World Health Organisation’s has declared Coronavirus to be a public health emergency of international concern.

We want all our candidates to keep safe and healthy. 

As you will no doubt be aware, the World Health Organisation’s has declared Coronavirus to be a public health emergency of international concern.

What is Coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus common across the world. Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov), the strain currently causing concern, is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Infection Control Protocols

The government is advising to follow general principles to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • if you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment
  • if you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
  • see further information and the Public Health England Blog

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 acute respiratory disease. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Should we be concerned?

In a statement on the patients identified in the UK, chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “We are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. The NHS is extremely well prepared and used to managing infections, and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread. We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.

“We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organisation and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.” Anyone who comes to the UK from anywhere in China and shows any symptoms associated with the coronavirus should “self-isolate” for 14 days, Prof Whitty added.

Travel Advice

The UK Government is advising you to call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if you’ve travelled to the UK from:

  • Hubei province in China in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms
  • Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy or special care zones in South Korea since 19 February, even if you do not have symptoms
  • other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild)
  • other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild)

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours.

In Wales call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 46 47.

In Northern Ireland call 111.

Keep up to date

You can see the latest updates on Novel Coronavirus on the Government’s website – click here to find out more.