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Two coronavirus cases confirmed in Devon

Two coronavirus cases confirmed in Devon

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:03pm 2nd March 2020. (Updated at 4:24pm 2nd March 2020)

The first two cases of coronavirus are confirmed in Devon.

Public Health England says both patients are from the south Devon area and became infected whilst in northern Italy.

Support is being given to a secondary school in Torbay, where one case attends.

It comes as the number of people in the UK who have been diagnosed with Covid 19 has now risen to 40. Eight of those have already recovered.

"Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with two confirmed cases of COVID-19. Both cases are residents from the South Devon area and became infected whilst in Northern Italy. Staff from PHE continue to support a secondary school in Torbay where one case attends.

"Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. 

"This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public. If you have not been contacted by Public Health England, you do not need to take any action at this time."

Debra Lapthorne, Centre Director for Public Health England South West

Downing Street says it will publish its plans to tackle the outbreak on Tuesday but Boris Johnson insists the country is well-prepared.

The Prime Minister us also urging people to wash their hands to the tune of Happy Birthday.

His team says the Budget a week on Wednesday will not be affected by the outbreak. 

"I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low in both Torbay and South Devon and we are working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Devon and Torbay are protected.

"Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

"If you have recently been to one of the affected areas and are feeling unwell, you should go to NHS 111 online, phone NHS 111 helpline or for further advice straight away – please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital."

Caroline Dimond, Director of Public Health for Torbay Council

Devon and Torbay Council, PHE and the NHS all insist they are well prepared to deal with coronavirus.

They say their priority is to safeguard local communities which sometimes involves taking preventative measures to help reduce the risk of further cases.

As of 9am on 2nd March, a total of 13,525 people have been tested in the UK, of which 13,485 were confirmed negative and 40 positive.

There is lots of advice on how people can protect themselves online on the NHS website.

Symptoms of coronavirus:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.

The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

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