In light of the recent worldwide outbreak of Coronavirus (officially named COVID-19), the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it “a public health emergency of international concern”, and the Government has allocated £40 million to address the implications of the outbreak in the UK.

Due to the nature of our work, it’s of paramount importance that you read this page in full to understand how to keep yourself, your colleagues and the people in your care safe at this time.

Frequently asked questions

What are the signs of the symptoms of Coronavirus in humans?

The symptoms of Coronavirus are similar those of regular flu. This includes a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. In fact, the current evidence is that most cases are mild and that the usual winter flu remains more of a threat than Coronavirus.

Coronavirus is likely to cause more severe symptoms in older people or those with underlying medical conditions, such as weakened immune systems, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

In some severe cases, the Coronavirus may progress to pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties. The infection can also cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and can ultimately lead to the loss of life.

So far, the evidence indicates that those who have died have had pre-existing health conditions.

What are the health recommendations for Coronaviruses?

Current medical advice to prevent the spread of infection from Coronaviruses includes:

  • Regular, thorough handwashing. This NHS video explains the technique in full.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are exhibiting potential symptoms, such as coughs and sneezes
  • Covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and, if possible, using a tissue to do so, and disposing of it immediately
  • Avoiding touching the mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.

What should I do if I develop flu-like symptoms?

If you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, and have recently returned from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau, or have had contact with someone who has, please do not:

✖ Do not go into work,

✖ Do not go to your doctors’ surgery

Do not leave your home

Please do:

Call NHS 111 immediately

Inform Newcross of the advice given to you by calling our central services call centre on 0117 9119677.

Is there a vaccine for Coronavirus?

Not currently. However, researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against the specific strain in question (2019-nCoV) at the time of writing, and the WHO is supporting their efforts.

Is it safe to receive a letter or package from China?

Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new Coronavirus. From previous analysis, health experts know that Coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.

How can I keep safe when travelling?

Please try to avoid all unnecessary travel wherever possible, particularly to following countries that have been identified as high risk at this time:

China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau.

At Newcross, we shall endeavour to limit business travel and make use of video conferencing as an alternative.

Further information

Resources on the coronavirus can be found at the following websites.

  • An interactive map providing real-time updates of Coronaviruses across the world, produced by John Hopkins University - click here.