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Advice issued after first South West Coronavirus case

Photo: Department of Health and Social Care

The first case of Covid-19 Coronavirus has been confirmed in the South West

A person from the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire became infected while in Northern Italy.

Public Health England South West say those who had close contact with the person are now being contacted directly.

It comes as doctors and other health professionals could be brought out of retirement to help fight coronavirus as part of emergency Government planning.

Ministers say further measures will be considered to keep the public safe and ensure the NHS can handle the added strain.

 Debra Lapthorne, Centre Director for Public Health England South West, said: "Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with one of the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

"The case is a resident from the Cotswolds area and became infected whilst in Northern Italy. Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case. 

"This tried and tested method  will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public. 

"If you have not been contacted by Public Health England, you do not need to take any action at this time."

Sarah Scott, Director of Public Health for Gloucestershire County Council said: "I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and that we are working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Gloucestershire are protected.

"Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and then throw it away - catch it, bin it, kill it.

"If you have recently been to one of the affected areas and are feeling unwell, you should phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away  - please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital. 

"There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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