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Coronavirus: Shropshire university students advised against travelling to China

By Mat Growcott | Newport | News | Published:

Students at Shropshire's Harper Adams University have been advised against travelling to China amid concerns about the coronavirus.

People walk past a sign at a drug store saying that it is sold out of face masks in Beijing

The university community has been advised against travelling to China, and staff travel to the country will not be permitted in the foreseeable future.

But the university says it has not cancelled any events and will offer support to any students who need it in relation to the virus.

A university spokeswoman said: "Harper Adams University has advised its community against travel to China until we have a clearer picture of the risk. Staff travel to China will not be permitted for the foreseeable future.

"But we have not cancelled any events and continue to offer support to any students, Chinese or otherwise, who require it."

It comes as Public Health England has written to GPs and nurses outlining what to do if they suspect a patient has coronavirus.

Guidelines say patients must be put into isolation, and health care professionals must avoid physically examining them.

The advice says coronavirus is currently most likely to affect travellers who have recently returned from the Chinese city of Wuhan - the origin of the outbreak.

Tested

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There have been 830 cases of the virus acknowledged by Chinese authorities. It has been confirmed that there have been 26 deaths.

There have not been any confirmed cases in the UK, but some people are being tested for the virus.

A letter from Public Health England (PHE) to medics and nurses working in primary care says potential cases must be identified as soon as possible.

Doctors should then isolate the patient, call local health protection teams and prevent potential transmission of infection to other patients and staff.

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The advice says coronavirus is currently most likely to affect travellers who have recently returned from Wuhan city in China – the origin of the outbreak.

The letter says: “An unwell patient with a relevant travel history should be identified when they book in at reception and placed in a room away from other patients and staff.

“If (coronavirus) is considered possible when a consultation is already in progress, withdraw from the room, close the door and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

“Avoid physical examination of a suspected case. The patient should remain in the room with the door closed. Belongings and waste should remain in the room.

“Advise others not to enter the room. If a clinical history still needs to be obtained or completed, do this by telephone.

“The patient should not be allowed to use communal toilet facilities. Instruct them to not touch anything or anyone when walking to the toilet. Instruct the patient to wash their hands thoroughly after toileting.”

If a patient calls a surgery with suspected symptoms, they should not be invited to the surgery.

Instead, a local infection specialist at hospital should be informed.

“If the patient is critically ill and requires an urgent ambulance transfer to a hospital, inform the ambulance call handler of the concerns about (coronavirus).

“Patients with suspected WN-CoV (coronavirus) should be instructed not to use public transport or taxis to get to hospital.

“Following the patient transfer, the room should be closed and should not be used until further advice is provided by the local health protection team.”

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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