February 19, 2020

2000 lives have been lost worldwide  due to the Coronavirus. There are currently nine infected cases in the UK. There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus and the NHS is advising people to avoid close contact with individuals who are unwell.

The public health service says there are basic things that all travellers should do to lower their chances of becoming infected. Experts have told people across the UK to avoid covering their mouth and nose with their hand when they sneeze, instead using a tissue or a sleeve. After sneezing, make sure to hold the used tissue for the remainder of the tube journey and put it in a bin at the first opportunity. People hoping to avoid illness should wash their hands with soap and water often and use hand sanitiser if this is not available. They should also avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth too much as there’s a chance the illness could be transferred from surfaces.

As the coronavirus crisis grows, it seems more Londoners are being spotted wearing face masks – but unfortunately, they may not be the saving grace some people believe them to be. Health officials have raised doubts over the effectiveness of using the masks to protect against the virus. The type of face masks being regularly used by the public are surgical masks which are loose fitting, intended for short periods and ‘do not offer great protection with extended use’, says the Science Media Centre. Dr Jake Dunning, head of emerging infections and zoonoses, Public Health England, said there is ‘very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use’ outside of clinical settings. He added: ‘People concerned about the transmission of infectious diseases would do better to prioritise good personal, respiratory and hand hygiene.’

Coronavirus symptoms include coughing, a high temperature and shortness of breath. If you have symptoms of infection and believe there’s a chance you could have been exposed to the deadly virus, quarantine yourself straight away. Do not under any circumstances travel to the hospital or your doctor’s surgery as this may pose a risk to others. Instead, phone NHS helpline 111 and tell professionals about any recent travel and any symptoms you have.