Hospital worker diagnosed with coronavirus in West Sussex

A HEALTHCARE worker at Worthing Hospital is among the eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 8:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 8:51 am

Staff at the West Sussex hospital received a memo on Tuesday telling them a member of staff working in the A&E department had been diagnosed with the disease.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said that all services at the hospital, including surgery and out patients, are operating normally.

It is understood the healthcare worker at Worthing Hospital is not the same person as the locum doctor working in Brighton, who is also one of the eight cases.

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A healthcare worker at Worthing Hospital is among the eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. Picture: Michael Drummond/PA Wire

Meanwhile, it is understood two prisoners at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire are being tested for the illness and are being held in isolation.

One of the men is understood to have been recently transferred from a Thai jail.

They are both reported to be suffering flu-like symptoms.

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As of Tuesday evening, a total of 1,358 people have been tested for coronavirus in the UK, of which 1,350 were confirmed negative and eight positive, the Department of Health said.

The Prime Minister praised the response of the NHS and said anyone concerned should ‘simply follow their advice’.

It came as Steve Walsh, the businessman at the centre of a UK outbreak of coronavirus, thanked the NHS for his treatment and said he is ‘fully recovered'.

Mr Walsh, 53, from Hove in East Sussex - who is still in quarantine at St Thomas' Hospital in London, picked up coronavirus while at a conference in Singapore.

On his way back to the UK, he stopped off for several days at a French ski chalet, where five Britons were subsequently infected with the virus.

He is also linked to at least five further cases of coronavirus in the UK, including the doctor working at the Brighton surgery.

Mr Walsh is also linked to one male patient who was taken ill in Majorca.

Speaking from hospital, Mr Walsh, a cub scout leader, said in a statement: ‘I would like to thank the NHS for their help and care - whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus.

‘As soon as I knew I had been exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus, I contacted my GP, NHS 111 and Public Health England.

‘I was advised to attend an isolated room at hospital, despite showing no symptoms, and subsequently self-isolated at home as instructed.

‘When the diagnosis was confirmed I was sent to an isolation unit in hospital, where I remain, and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to isolate themselves.

‘I also thank friends, family and colleagues for their support during recent weeks and I ask the media to respect our privacy.’