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Coronavirus: Victims could pose minor risk after death, NHS staff warned

NHS staff have been warned that victims of the coronavirus could continue to pose a minor risk even after death.

Doctors and nurses have been given detailed advice on how to handle suspected cases by Public Health England.

The document warns:

New coronavirus patients should be left in closed rooms and not examinedStaff who meet suspected victims should wear full-face visorsBodies should not be placed on beds because such movement could expel infected air from the lungsBody bags and full personal protective equipment should be used by NHS staffControlling the disease “relies on the prompt identification, appropriate risk assessment, management and isolation of possible cases”

More than 2,700 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed globally – the vast majority of them in China.

Image: Medical staff wear protective clothing with a patient at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital

The number of people tested in Britain has passed 50, although there are still no confirmed cases.


Health officials are also continuing to track down approximately 2,000 people who have recently flown into the UK from the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday morning, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK is “looking at all options” to help Britons who are stranded in Wuhan, which is subject to travel restrictions.

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Amid reports that the government is examining the logistics of an airlift from the city, Ms Patel told Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “We’re looking at all options. I’m not going to comment specifically on newspaper stories.

“But it’s right that we look at all options and that’s exactly what the government is doing right now.”

Although the risk to the public from the coronavirus is still classed as low, England’s chief medical officer Chris Witty has said there is a “fair chance” there will be cases in Britain.

Drone captures coronavirus hospital construction

Public Health England has opened a screening hub at Heathrow, where there are several direct flights a week to Wuhan, to try and prevent the virus spreading.

On Sunday, Chinese officials warned the coronavirus is getting stronger – adding that little is known about the virus and health experts are unclear on the risks posed by it mutating.

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National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said the incubation period for the coronavirus can range from one to 14 days, and it is infectious during this time.

This was not the case with the previous Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, which also originated in China and killed nearly 800 people around the world in 2002 and 2003.


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