Lewisham is in the unfortunate position of having the first Coronavirus case in London.
After falling ill, a woman took an Uber taxi and presented herself at Lewisham Hospital on Sunday, 9 February.
Two Lewisham hospital staff are in isolation in their homes after coming into contact with the woman, a Chinese national who recently arrived in London from China.
Lewisham hospital confirmed the unnamed patient had not followed public health officials’ advice and had simply “self-presented” at the A&E unit on Sunday afternoon.
The patient did not arrive by ambulance or her own vehicle and went straight to the A&E reception desk to report her symptoms, which goes against guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.
According to the hospital, no other patients were exposed to the risk of infection as a result of her arrival.
The woman was then sent home pending the results of her tests. On Wednesday she was taken to another London hospital, St Thomas’, for treatment.
According to Public Health England, the Uber driver has little chance of contracting the infection as the journey was less than 15 minutes. Apparently, someone has to have close and unstained contact with a carrier. This is defined as being within two metres of them for at least 15 minutes.
Dave Smith, the chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Emergency Care Association, said: “It’s worrying to hear that the public isn’t following Public Health England advice about phoning NHS 111 to seek advice, and therefore putting other members of the public and NHS staff at risk of contracting coronavirus.”
According to Sky News, there are nine people in the UK being treated for Covid-19.