Coronavirus: 29 Covid-19 cases in Portsmouth as Queen Alexandra Hospital warns people not to attend A&E with minor problems

PEOPLE with a minor injury or illness are being told they must not attend A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

By Ben Fishwick
Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 9:52 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 3:34 pm

It comes as figures show that as of 9am yesterday there have been 29 cases in the Portsmouth council area, up from 25. There are now 207 in Hampshire and 24 in Southampton.

Portsmouth has the highest number of deaths out of acute hospital trusts in England.

As reported, 15 people have died at QA Hospital with Covid-19. All had underlying health conditions.

People wearing face masks in the Coronavirus outbreak in Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Pictured on March 20 before government announced a lockdown. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Medics are preparing for 'increased demand' as more coronavirus patients are expected.

Beds are being cleared as those 'well enough' to be discharged are being sent to care homes, community hospitals or their own homes as 'quickly as possible'.

Now QA Hospital is warning people not to overwhelm its A&E department.

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A statement said: ‘Organisations across the NHS are taking a number of steps to prepare for increased demand and you may be redirected if you attend ED with a minor injury.

‘If you have a minor injury or illness, please do not attend our Emergency Department (ED) at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA).'

Alternatives open seven days a week are:

• St Mary’s Urgent Treatment Centre, Milton, Portsmouth – open 8am-10pm. Call 0333 321 8277 or see stmarystreatmentcentre.nhs.uk/utc/

• Gosport War Memorial Hospital Minor Injuries Unit – open 8am-9pm. Call (023) 9279 4753 or see porthosp.nhs.uk/departments-and-services/gosport-minor-injuries-unit/96458

• Petersfield Community Hospital Minor Injuries Unit - open 8am-5.45pm. Call (023) 8231 0595 or see southernhealth.nhs.uk/services/minor-injuries-units

In Britain there are 8,077 cases with 135 recoveries and 422 deaths so far.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS