The Wokingham Paper

GP surgery closed for precautionary clean over possible coronavirus patient

Boundary House Surgery closed earlier this week for a precautionary clean. Picture: Phil Creighton

A BRACKNELL GP surgery closed today after a patient who had been in Thailand, where there have been confirmed coronavirus cases, visited the site yesterday.

Boundary House Surgery has been shut all day for precautionary cleaning, confirm staff from East Berkshire CCG. 

A sign on the surgery gate warns patients to not enter the building. Picture: Phil Creighton

At 3.37pm today, BBC Berkshire announced via social media that a patient, who travelled through Thailand, visited the premises.

A spokesperson from East Berkshire CCG said: “Boundary House GP Surgery in Bracknell is temporarily closed today — Tuesday, February 11 — to enable a clean of the surgery as a precautionary measure.

“The practice will reopen as soon as possible and patients will be advised if their appointment needs to be rearranged. We apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused.  

“Patients can still be seen at other practices within the Group at both the Sainsbury’s and Skimped Hill Surgeries.   

“The latest information and advice on coronavirus from Public Health England is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

At the moment, the suspected case is unconfirmed. 

Public Health England have confirmed eight patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. This is out of 1,358 people who have been tested.

Last week, Professor Ben Cowling, director of a World Health Organisation collaborating centre in Hong Kong, warned that Coronavirus cases could appear in the UK by early March.

Professor Cowling has been analysing coronavirus transmission patterns in China over the last few months.

Speaking to The Wokingham Paper, he said: “I predict that older adults will start being admitted to UK hospitals with pneumonia and testing positive for the coronavirus, but having no links to China or contact with travellers from China and no idea how they were infected.

Coronavirus
Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) was first identified in Wuhan City, China. Picture: NIAID /Flickr

“This will alert health authorities to the start of an epidemic.

“If or when that happens, the UK government will need to decide if any additional measures are warranted, for example asking people to wear face masks when they go out, or asking employers to allow work-from-home.”

“I think this new virus is a real risk to global health. We know that the infection can spread between people, we know it can cause severe disease, but we also know that there are many more mild infections than severe infections. 

“What we do not yet know is the ratio of mild to severe infections, and that is what concerns us. 

“We also hear worrying rumours that infections can be spread before a person becomes symptomatic – this . . . . makes it more difficult for health authorities to control.”

Professor Cowling’s coronavirus work has been published in world leading journals The Lancet magazine and New England Journal of Medicine.

He has had hundreds of pieces of work related to his specialties published.

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