British student, 27, tells of ‘living in fear’ in coronavirus-hit China


A British student evacuated from Wuhan has today documented his journey from¬†‘living in fear’ and suffering panic attacks in coronavirus-hit China to life¬†in quarantine in a Milton Keynes hotel with free Netflix.

Camryn Turner, 27, was in the middle of a music course in the virus-ravaged city when the outbreak, which has now claimed more than 1,100 lives and struck down almost 46,000 worldwide, began over Chinese New Year.

He described ‘panic’ and ‘hysteria’ among fearful residents of Wuhan where pharmacies had sold out of masks and the government was spreading ‘false information’ trying to play down how serious coronavirus¬†is and the true scale of cases and deaths.¬†

Mr Turner said: ‘I spent 14 days in Wuhan, China, locked in my apartment. One night I phoned my parents and I just had the most extreme panic attack. I started to go nuts. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and I said, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.’

After catching a flight back home on Sunday, he has since been living at the three-star Kents Hill Hotel in Milton Keynes and is expected to stay under observation for at least 14 days, the incubation period of the killer virus.

He revealed those in quarantine get two adjoining rooms – one for sleeping, the other for leisure with a small kitchen – and get three meals a day, complimentary drinks and snacks, as well as free Netflix to help the hours pass.

It comes as health officials in the UK scramble to track down¬†dozens of people who have come into contact with Britain’s eight confirmed coronavirus patients – including a ‘super spreader’ businessman who caught the virus at a work conference in Singapore and passed it onto 11 others at a ski resort.¬†¬†

In other developments in the coronavirus outbreak:   

  • Super spreader Steve Walsh, 53, who accidentally infected friends staying in the same French ski chalet, was released from hospital today after medics declared he is not contagious and ‘poses no risk to the public’¬†
  • Alleged drug kingpin Mark Rumble collapsed in his cell at HMP Bullingdon after extradition from Thailand. He and two other prison inmates are now being tested for the killer illness¬†¬†
  • The WHO has described the epidemic as ‘the worst enemy you can ever imagine’ and said it may pose a greater risk to humanity than terrorism¬†
  • Every country in the world can expect to have cases because the epidemic is ‘only just getting started’ outside of China, according to an infectious diseases expert at the WHO¬†
  • The coronavirus has been officially named SARS-CoV-2 by a group of international scientists
  • Eleven schools in the Brighton area have been put on lockdown after staff and pupils were told to quarantine at home. A care home has also been sealed off in the city after a doctor who visited was later diagnosed
  • A taxi driver in Brighton was reportedly told to stay indoors and avoid others after coming into contact with a coronavirus patient¬†
Camryn Turner, 27, is safely in quarantine in this Milton Keynes hotel for the next fortnight after being evacuated from Wuhan

Camryn Turner, 27, is safely in quarantine in this Milton Keynes hotel for the next fortnight after being evacuated from Wuhan

Camryn documented his journey back to Britain including boarding the 747 chartered by the UK government with an official in full protective clothing at its doors

Camryn documented his journey back to Britain including boarding the 747 chartered by the UK government with an official in full protective clothing at its doors

Cabin crew were also wearing protective clothing and all people on board the plane wore protective masks for the duration

Cabin crew were also wearing protective clothing and all people on board the plane wore protective masks for the duration

Cabin crew were also wearing protective clothing and all people on board the plane wore protective masks for the duration

This is Camryn's hotel bed - each person in quarantine gets a room for sleeping and an adjoining room for leisure

This is Camryn’s hotel bed – each person in quarantine gets a room for sleeping and an adjoining room for leisure

The residents have cooking facilities but also get three hot meals a day including this cottage pie and carrots with cheesecake for pudding

The residents have cooking facilities but also get three hot meals a day including this cottage pie and carrots with cheesecake for pudding

Mr Turner has been documenting his time in quarantine in Milton Keynes, which is spent mostly watching TV, reading magazines and sitting on his laptop as he attempts to ‘fight off the cabin fever.

He said: ‘In the initial outbreak in January, we got updates from word of mouth and not the state news. I remember I went out to stock up on food on 22 January and all of a sudden we were told we have to wear masks all the time, now it’s serious. I went into two of my local pharmacies and they said they don’t have any left in stock. It just happened so quickly.

Mr Turner (pictured in Milton Keynes) said he was so worried in Wuhan he began having panic attacks

Mr Turner (pictured in Milton Keynes) said he was so worried in Wuhan he began having panic attacks

‘Wuhan itself was running smoothly then it immediately went into lockdown. The Chinese authorities took too long to react to it.

‘Chinese Spring Festival was happening and that’s where everyone returns home to see family and friends, so there were people coming in and out of the city.

‘It just stirred up a lot of panic. People just became hysterical and false information was spread. It was so scary.

‘I remember seeing a medical worker post a video on WeChat and she was going absolutely hysterical, saying to stop listening to the Chinese government, they are lying to us.

‘The number of confirmed cases that they were seeing was probably over 100,000 and I just remember everyone panicking.’

Mr Turner called his parents, Sheryl and Julian, in South Africa after a suffering a panic attack over fears for his own safety. 

He said: ‘I must have spent a total of about one and a half hours, in those two weeks, going outdoors quickly to stock up on food. So that was quite an experience. It was not easy at all.

‘Also knowing, just outside your apartment windows, there is a deadly virus going around, was really really scary.’

Mr Turner, a dual citizen with British and South African, returned on the last available plane, headed to the UK, out of the country.

Tipped off by an English friend, whose Chinese partner was also on the flight, he managed to grab one of the last seats on the flight back to Britain at 48 hours notice.

‘One thing I can just say about the British Embassy,’ Mr Turner continued, ‘is just their incredible service and the blood sweat and tears they went through to put me on that plane. I’m just so grateful that they were willing to go through all that effort.’

This is the view from Camryn's bed - he will be in the room for at least two weeks in total before he is free to leave

This is the view from Camryn’s bed – he will be in the room for at least two weeks in total before he is free to leave

Camryn has praised the NHS for his care and revealed as well as the hot food a doctor is on call 24/7

Camryn has praised the NHS for his care and revealed as well as the hot food a doctor is on call 24/7

Each guest is given drinks, snacks and of course plenty of tea to pass the hours in quarantine

Each guest is given drinks, snacks and of course plenty of tea to pass the hours in quarantine

The Britons infected with coronavirus – and the patients ill in the UK

Cases in the UK and where they are being cared for:

Newcastle: Two Chinese nationals who came to the UK with coronavirus and fell ill while on the tourist trail in York. They were the first two cases on British soil and confirmed on January 31.

London:  The first British coronavirus victim has become known as a super-spreader. Steve Walsh picked up the virus in Singapore Рbut flew for a ski break in France afterwards where he appears to have infected at least 11 people.  

Dr Catriona Saynor, who owns the chalet with her husband Bob, is feared to be the fourth patient in the UK diagnosed with Coronavirus. Her husband remained in France but she flew to Britain for medical exams and is in hospital.

Four more people¬†in Brighton – including two medics – were diagnosed over the weekend and confirmed as cases. They were all ‘known contacts’ of the super-spreader and are thought to have stayed in the same French resort.¬†

Total in UK hospitals: Eight patients. Six Britons and two Chinese nationals 

British expats and holidaymakers outside the UK and where they are being cared for:

Majorca: A British father-of-two who stayed in the ski resort tested positive after returning to his home in Majorca. His wife and children are not ill.

France: Five people who were in the chalet with the super-spreader. These include the chalet’s owner, environmental consultant Bob Saynor, 48, and his nine-year-old son. They are all in a French hospital with three unnamed others.¬†Dr Catriona Saynor is in Britain.

Japan: A British man on board a cruise ship docked at a port in Japan tested positive for coronavirus, Princess Cruises said. Alan Steele, from Wolverhampton, posted on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with the virus. Steele said he was not showing any symptoms but was being taken to hospital. He was on his honeymoon.

Total: Seven

Touching down on Sunday morning, made difficult due to turbulence from Storm Ciara, the passengers were whisked on buses off to the Kents Hill Hotel under police escort.

He continued: ‘When we got here, we were handed and filled out the necessary documentation such as medical information, personal information.

‘We were then called out in groups of four to go for a swab test. This was the only part where I have been scared and got really freaked out.

‘Seeing all these videos in China with all the medical workers dressed up in their bodysuits and then walking into the medical room and seeing it in person, it made it seem more real.

‘It involved the medical staff using extended earbuds and they took samples from our nostrils, as well as the back of our mouth.

‘That process was done twice. We were given our room numbers and our keys. Basically, we’ve all been in our rooms since then. I think I’ve been handling the situation well so far.’

Mr Turner has praised the medical staff at the facility and says they have access to a wide range of different food and entertainment, with Netflix even available to residents.

He said: ‘We’ve been looked after so well. The first 48 hours of quarantine, we have to be put in full isolation in our bedrooms, so minimal human to human contact.

‘The rooms are great, we have been given information every step of the way. Medical staff call you in your room just to make sure that you’re okay and see if we need anything.

‘We’ve been allocated two rooms, one for sleeping in and leisure time and another for heating up our food and stocking up our cool drinks and sauces, fruits, all that kind of thing.

‘We’ve been offered a wide variety of meals to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has its tough times. You get cabin fever symptoms. They can become quite rough during the day. We’ve been supplied with a TV and magazines and games to stimulate our brains.

‘We can still make use of our laptops and phones. I wake up, eat my breakfast and then I will lie a bed and reply to all my unread messages from my friends and family.

‘I’ll also have the TV on, where I prefer to watch sports, maybe a bit of comedy as well. It just makes the situation here a little bit easier.

He was on Britain's second evacuation flight from the UK (pictured) - the first one was not full after many passengers were unable to get to the airport on time because of a lack of warning and no public transport

He was on Britain’s second evacuation flight from the UK (pictured) – the first one was not full after many passengers were unable to get to the airport on time because of a lack of warning and no public transport

‘I have managed to get some really good quality sleep while I’ve been here so far. With the healthy food that we’ve been given, that’s helped a lot to feel better. As well as the cool drinks, we’ve also been given snacks. Our fridges have been regularly stocked up, which is great.

‘It just seems to be getting better and better by day. I think the first 48 hours have just been trial and error. Just seeing how things are running.’

If one of the patients tests positive for the deadly coronavirus, the 48-hour isolation quarantine could be extended for another two days.

They have also been told that they should expect to be there for at least two weeks – the incubation period of the virus – to be sure that none of the people has picked up the bug.

Mr Turner added: ‘There are times of frustration, just knowing that this is a whole process on its own again, but it’s for the best just to make sure that everyone is safe.

‘Its also to make sure that once we leave, we don’t infect anyone else outside the quarantine. We have Dettol wipes on standby and have to make sure we stay clean.

‘It’s really nice that we can clean ourselves up every day. It’s basically just the time where we are waiting for the swab results to come back. I’ve caught up on a lot of sleep, which I was not getting because I was so anxious and worried in Wuhan.

China hopes the killer virus, which has claim claimed more than 1,000 lives (shown) will be curbed by April

China hopes the killer virus, which has claim claimed more than 1,000 lives (shown) will be curbed by April

But WHO's director general, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the epidemic - which has struck down 46,000 (shown) - could rumble on for more than a year

But WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the epidemic – which has struck down 46,000 (shown) – could rumble on for more than a year

This is the coronavirus super-spreader Steve Walsh, who inadvertently infected 11 people with the disease on a ski break in the Alps, left St Thomas' Hospital in London today

This is the coronavirus super-spreader¬†Steve Walsh, who inadvertently infected 11 people with the disease on a ski break in the Alps, left St Thomas’ Hospital in London today

Father-of-two sales executive Steve Walsh is in quarantine in a London hospital today after picking up the disease at a Singapore gas conference - but he has recovered five days after showing symptoms

Father-of-two sales executive Steve Walsh is in quarantine in a London hospital today after picking up the disease at a Singapore gas conference - but he has recovered five days after showing symptoms

Father-of-two sales executive Mr Walsh is in quarantine in a London hospital today after picking up the disease at a Singapore gas conference

MailOnline has found at least nine sites in Brighton linked to the city's super spreader or his infected doctor friend including two schools, two health centres and a care home as the area's residents accused public health chiefs of starving them of information

MailOnline has found at least nine sites in Brighton linked to the city’s super spreader or his infected doctor friend including two schools, two health centres and a care home as the area’s residents accused public health chiefs of starving them of information

What we know about ‘super-spreader’ Steve Walsh and how the coronavirus crisis has gripped Brighton

Jan 20-23: British businessman Steve Walsh unknowingly catches the virus at a conference attended by more than 100 internationals at the £1,000-a-night Grand Hyatt hotel in Singapore

Jan 24: The 53-year-old arrives in Contamines-Montjoie in the French Alps and stays at a chalet owned by a fellow Brit. French health ministry officials say he had contact with at least 11 Britons at the chalet. Less than 1,000 cases in China had been recorded at this point

Jan 27: Servomex, the gas analysis company Mr Walsh works for, advises all attendees of the conference to work from home. The advice came four days after one conference-goer was quarantined in Asia over fears of having the virus

Jan 28: Mr Walsh flies back from Geneva, Switzerland to London Gatwick on board easyJet flight EZS8481. He did not have any symptoms. Authorities say they contacted 183 passengers and six crew on the flight

February 1: Mr Walsh spends two hours at his local pub, The Grenadier, in Hove. Five staff are told to self-isolate for a fortnight. It is unclear where else he went after landing back in the UK. Almost 12,000 cases across the world have been recorded at this point 

February 4-5: Mr Walsh contacts his GP, NHS 111 and Public Health England after learning he had been exposed to a confirmed coronavirus case at the conference in Singapore. He drives himself to the Royal Sussex County Hospital Brighton to be tested in isolation and then self-isolates once at home. Servomex give a list of all British attendees to PHE for screening

February 6: He tests positive for the virus at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and is then whisked off to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London to be quarantined for two weeks. He becomes the third case in the UK. Almost 30,000 cases have been recorded across the world at this point

February 8: Five Britons ‚Äď four adults and a child ‚Äď staying at the same chalet as the ‘super-spreader’ in France test positive for the coronavirus. Environmental consultant Bob Saynor, 48, and his nine-year-old son were named locally as two of the Brits

February 9: British father living in Majorca tests positive: Ex-pat who also had contact with the Brighton businessman at chalet France has disease. His wife and two daughters test negative.

UK officials confirm a fourth person has caught coronavirus in England, and reveal they had come into contact with Mr Walsh in France. This is thought to be Dr Catriona Greenwood, who owns the chalet in France with her husband Mr Saynor.

February 10: Four more patients in the UK are confirmed to have the coronavirus: All had contact with businessman at the ski resort in France. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to eight

Dr Greenwood’s GP surgery ‚Äď the County Oak Medical Centre ‚Äď was closed for health reasons. Another case was confirmed to be a health worker, thought to be a male GP and friend of the Saynor family

February 11: Patcham Nursing Home in Brighton closed its doors to visitors as a ‘precaution’ amid fears either Dr Greenwood or the other GP with coronavirus visited one of its 24 elderly residents last week¬†

Students at Bevendean Primary School are told they can stay at home after a teacher was asked to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who had spent time with a coronavirus patient, potentially the ‘super-spreader’ Steve Walsh. Parents of pupils said they were left ‘shaking with fear’

Another GP practice in Brighton ‚Äď Deneway Surgery ‚Äď is closed. It is also run by the County Oak Medical Centre. It is not clear if Dr Greenwood had been here, or the other male GP worked here

February 12: Mr Walsh remains in isolation as health authorities try to track down his associates.  

‘The healthy food that we are being fed here, I definitely think helps because I couldn’t keep living off instant noodles. I wasn’t getting nutrients and I could have got sick otherwise.

‘Every time one of the medical staff come to our bedrooms, we must wear medical masks at all times and they do the same.

‘I think this is very important for all of us to go through this process here and just to adhere to all the rules and regulations that we have been given. I’m very grateful for everything they have done for us.’¬†

Mr Turner’s account comes after the NHS declared¬†Brighton’s coronavirus ‘superspreader’ was no longer contagious and let him out of hospital.¬†

Scout leader Steve Walsh, 53, has left the isolation unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London after picking up the disease at a Singapore gas conference last month and inadvertently spreading it on his 6,736-mile journey home to Hove via the Alps.

The father-of-two gas sales executive has been reunited with his wife and two children in East Sussex, who have been in self-quarantine since he tested positive for the killer virus last week.

He said today: ‘I’m happy to be home and feeling well. I want to give a big thank you to the NHS who have been great throughout and my thoughts are with everyone around the world who continues to be affected by the virus. It’s good to be back with my family’.

Mr Walsh decided to reveal his identity yesterday after inadvertently putting Brighton at the centre of Britain’s coronavirus crisis after four people on his ski holiday – including at least two doctors – also tested positive.

Eleven schools in the Brighton area Рincluding one attended by his two children Рhave been put on lockdown after staff and pupils have been told to quarantine at home. 

A care home has also been sealed off to visitors after a doctor who went there was later diagnosed with the virus, and more than a dozen GP surgeries have been closed this week for deep cleaning – amid fears staff may have caught it.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director, said: ‘I’m pleased to say that – following two negative tests for coronavirus, twenty-four hours apart – Mr Walsh has been discharged from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, having made a full recovery following his treatment. Mr Walsh’s symptoms were mild and he is no longer contagious, and poses no risk to the public’.

Professor Willett added: ‘He is keen to return to his normal life and spend time with his family out of the media spotlight. I would like to thank the clinical team who treated Mr Walsh in hospital, as well as all the NHS staff who are working hard with other health organisations to limit the spread of coronavirus and treat the small numbers who have contracted the illness. Anyone with any health concerns should contact NHS 111’.¬†

Today, Mr Walsh’s next-door neighbour of 15 years said the father of two is ‘feeling fine’ but feels concerned about how he will be perceived.¬†

‘I’ve spoken to his wife Cathy directly and to Steve by email and they are absolutely terrified of being made scapegoats for all this which would be totally unfair,’ Ian Henshall, a 59-year-old author, told The Mirror.¬†

‘He acted as quickly as he possibly could as soon as he got ill. They are a lovely family. He is feeling fine now and Cathy is hoping he will be able to leave isolation and come home soon. They are just obviously very concerned about being made scapegoats in all this.’

It came as two teachers at the school Mr Walsh’s two children usually attend were put into ‘self isolation’ in case they had picked up the virus, as health authorities try to trace hundreds of people he and other Britons have come into contact with since returning from Asia.¬†

Meanwhile¬†Thailand’s health ministry insisted the alleged British drug dealer who collapsed in prison with suspected coronavirus was fit to travel before he was extradited to the UK.

Mark Rumble, 31, from Oxfordshire, was sent to HMP Bullingdon, close to Bicester, on January 27 and faces a series of charges of conspiracy to supply class A and B drugs. He is due in court later this month and is expected to deny the charges. 

Mark Rumble (right), 31, from Oxfordshire, is pictured with boxing legend Ricky Hatton in Thailand

Mark Rumble (right), 31, from Oxfordshire, is pictured with boxing legend Ricky Hatton in Thailand

Mr Rumble is pictured in Thailand, where he was arrested on a drug dealing charge

Mr Rumble is pictured in Thailand, where he was arrested on a drug dealing charge 

Thailand’s ministry now claims Mr Rumble had no symptoms of the never-before-seen virus when he was tested before flying back to the UK.¬†

And it says he passed all of the standard health checks prisoners go through before they are extradited, claiming he wouldn’t have been allowed to travel had he failed.¬†

Officials in Thailand, the first country outside of China to record a case on January 13, claim there have been no cases among the 300,000 prisoners in the country. 

And they told Sky News he has been in the UK for at least 16 days, meaning he had passed the accepted 14-day incubation period if he caught it in Thailand.

Mr Rumble reportedly collapsed in his cell at HMP Bullingdon on Monday. A second inmate developed flu-like symptoms and a third is also being tested for the virus. 

Meanwhile, a prison nurse who first checked on Mr Rumble has put herself into ‘self-isolation’ at home, a source told MailOnline.

Hundreds of inmates were confined to their cells yesterday, with the prison gripped by panic. Results from Mr Rumble and the other potentially infected inmates are expected later today. 

A source¬†last night told MailOnline: ‘The entire wing is currently in lockdown and will be for the next 72 hours or so.

British alleged drug dealer Mark John Rumble (left) being arrested by Thai police officers at a house in Pattaya

British alleged drug dealer Mark John Rumble (left) being arrested by Thai police officers at a house in Pattaya

Three men have reportedly become ill in HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire, after one of them was transferred to the jail from Thailand last month

Three men have reportedly become ill in HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire, after one of them was transferred to the jail from Thailand last month

UK GOVERNMENT WILL ‘FORCIBLY QUARANTINE ANY PATIENTS WITH SUSPECTED CORONAVIRUS’

Suspected coronavirus patients will now be forcibly quarantined after a man staying at an isolation facility following his evacuation from Wuhan two weeks ago threatened to walk out.

The patient staying at Arrowe Park hospital on The Wirral told medics he was going to leave before completing 14 days of quarantine after his return from the Chinese city, MailOnline understands.

Government sources said those who returned to the UK on the evacuation flights on January 31 were given a ‘very clear choice’ and had to sign contracts saying they would remain in isolation for a fortnight.

It came as the Department of Health yesterday declared the outbreak a ‘serious and imminent’ threat to the British public as it announced new powers to fight the spread.¬†Anyone infected with the¬†virus will now be kept in quarantine for their own safety and will be forced into isolation if they pose a threat to public health.¬†¬†

A source told MailOnline: ‘We found we didn’t have the necessary enforcement powers to make sure they didn’t leave.

The source said the phrase ‘serious and imminent threat’ in the regulation was needed to trigger the powers, and at the moment the risk to the public is still regarded as ‘moderate’.¬†We’re saying we are having to take action to prevent it becoming a serious and imminent threat.’

The first Britons evacuated from Wuhan will have completed 14 days in quarantine on Saturday, MailOnline understands. 

‘That means that prisoners will remain in their cells for the duration and will be fed food on plates pushed through their door hatches.’¬†

Another source added:¬†‘The jail’s been in panic mode since the first person collapsed.¬†

‘Several hundred prisoners on C-wing are in lockdown and unable to leave their cells. A prison is just about the worst place for any outbreak because everyone is in such close quarters.’

Mr Rumble was rushed to hospital and is currently understood to be being treated at a ‘specialist hospital’ outside of the prison walls.

The prison source told MailOnline: ‘One prisoner was found collapsed in his cell last night. He is understood to have recently arrived at Bullingdon from a jail in Thailand under a transferral scheme.

‘He is being treated at a specialist hospital outside the prison. The two other prisoners were displaying flu-like symptoms and are in Bullingdon’s hospital wing.

‘All three prisoners were in single cells. A nurse who was in close proximity and contact with the collapsed prisoner has self-isolated as a precaution.’

Officials from Public Health England were spotted at the prison and medics in hazmat suits entered the locked down wing. 

The jail holds more than 1,000 inmates ‚Äď including sex offenders and prisoners on remand. It featured in a four-part ITV documentary on life behinds bars.¬†

Mr Rumble was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, last November on suspicion of drugs offences.

He is due to appear at Oxford Crown Court on February 20, where he is expected to plead not guilty. He is currently in custody on remand.

During his time in Thailand, he posted photos of himself dressed in designer clothing and posing with boxing legend Ricky Hatton. 

The British Foreign Office has not changed its travel advice for Thailand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but warns travellers about the virus.

People returning from the country should be considered possible coronavirus patients if they develop flu-like symptoms within two weeks of returning, the government said last week.

It was listed as one of nine areas considered to be at risk, along with China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

The prison scare comes as seven schools in Brighton are on lockdown after staff and pupils went into quarantine at home – including one across the street from the County Oak Medical Centre, which was shut down for a deep clean.

Dr Catriona Greenwood, currently in a London hospital receiving treatment for the killer virus, worked a locum shift at the surgery last week before she was diagnosed. In some cases children are being allowed to stay home.

One of the largest secondary schools in Brighton yesterday told parents a ‘member of its community’ was in quarantine because of suspected coronavirus contact.

Stephen Walsh, 53, inadvertently brought coronavirus to the UK having attended a conference in Singapore. Health officials told people he had been in contact with to 'self-isolate'

Stephen Walsh, 53, inadvertently brought coronavirus to the UK having attended a conference in Singapore. Health officials told people he had been in contact with to ‘self-isolate’¬†

British cruise ship passenger Alan Steele, pictured with his wife Wendy Marshall Steele, has tested negative for coronavirus after several days in a Japanese hospital

British cruise ship passenger Alan Steele, pictured with his wife Wendy Marshall Steele, has tested negative for coronavirus after several days in a Japanese hospital 

David and Sally Abel told Sky News that life on board the quarantined Diamond Princess - which has almost 4,000 passengers and crew - is getting harder

David and Sally Abel told Sky News that life on board the quarantined Diamond Princess – which has almost 4,000 passengers and crew – is getting harder

QUARANTINED BRIT ON JAPANESE CRUISE SHIP TESTS NEGATIVE FOR THE VIRUS 

A British coronavirus patient who was hauled off a cruise ship in Japan has tested negative for the virus and could leave hospital.

Alan Steele was one of 175 people confirmed to have the virus after the Diamond Princess was quarantined off the coast of Japan.

Mr Steele, who was travelling on his honeymoon with his wife Wendy, was taken to a hospital on the mainland but said today he was on the brink of being clear of the virus.

‘Just received great news. My test showed negative to virus and have now been swabbed for second test, if that comes back negative I get released,’ he said.

Japanese authorities today confirmed another 39 cases on the ship, bringing the total to 175 with thousands of passengers facing another week in quarantine in Yokohama.

Varndean School, which has around 1,300 pupils, was one of the schools in the city to announce that somebody connected to it had been told to ‘self-isolate’ for 14 days by Public Heath England.

Parents at Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Hove told of their shock after learning two pupils ‚Äď thought to be Mr Walsh’s children ‚Äď were in quarantine.

Other schools in Brighton that have seen staff or pupils told to self-isolate include Carden Primary School, Hangleton Primary School, Balfour Primary School, Portslade Academy and Bevendean Primary.

Two schools in Eastbourne, 21 miles east of Brighton, are in the same position after a teacher went into self isolation ‚Äď these are the Ratton School and Ocklynge School.¬†

Today authorities were still tracking the contacts of Brighton’s super spreader Mr Walsh and his five associates ‚Äď including two GPs ‚Äď who have also tested positive in the Brighton area over the last few days.

One of the two infected GPs is also thought to have worked at the A&E unit at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, which was last night contacting patients and staff to tell them what precautions they should take.

The doctor, who has not been identified, treated a ‘small number’ of patients at the hospital on February 4 and 5 before they became unwell and ‘self-isolated’.¬†

During Mr Walsh’s 6,736-mile journey home from Singapore, he stopped in the French Alps for a four-day ski holiday.

A doctor who spent two days working at Worthing Hospital's A&E department has tested positive for coronavirus

A doctor who spent two days working at Worthing Hospital’s A&E department has tested positive for coronavirus

COVID-19 IS THE ‘WORST ENEMY YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE’¬†

The deadly coronavirus outbreak is the ‘worst enemy you can ever imagine’ and more of a threat to humanity than terrorism, the World Health Organisation has warned.

China hopes the killer virus, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives and struck down over 44,500 people, will be curbed by April.

But WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said it could rumble on for more than a year and warned a vaccine could take at least 18 months to develop.

He added: ‘To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack. It’s the worst enemy you can imagine.’

The WHO has long believed that a new disease pandemic could race around the world, wipe out millions of people and destabilise society, due to modern air travel. 

Several of his associates on the trip have since tested positive.¬†After returning home to the UK on January 28, Mr Walsh was told to work from home by his company over then-unfounded concerns about the virus’s circulation at the conference.¬†

But he is understood to have gone about his everyday life as normal until February 3 when the company found out that one of the conference’s 94 attendees had contracted the virus.

The cases related to Mr Walsh have prompted authorities to hunt for all those who may have come into contact with him and the other carriers. 

Boris Johnson last night said the UK should be ‘confident and calm’ over the threat of coronavirus.¬†

Speaking in Birmingham, the Prime Minister praised the response of the NHS and said anyone concerned should ‘simply follow their advice’.

In other developments today, a British coronavirus patient who was hauled off a cruise ship in Japan has tested negative for the virus and could leave hospital.

Alan Steele was one of 175 people confirmed to have the virus after the Diamond Princess was quarantined off the coast of Japan.

Mr Steele, who was travelling on his honeymoon with his wife Wendy, was taken to a hospital on the mainland but said today he was on the brink of being clear of the virus.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, has described the outbreak as 'the worst enemy you can imagine', adding: 'It is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack'

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, has described the outbreak as ‘the worst enemy you can imagine’, adding: ‘It is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack’

SEVEN SCHOOLS IN BRIGHTON ON LOCK-DOWN AMID VIRUS FEARS 

More than half a dozen schools in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne have pupils or staff who are self-isolating as a precaution after several cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the area.

At least seven schools are understood to have told parents that either a staff member or pupil has been advised to stay at home for 14 days by Public Health England (PHE). 

In a letter to parents on Tuesday evening, Varndean School said a ‘person from our school community’ had been advised to self-isolate for 14 days after having contact with a potential case of the coronavirus.¬†

Head teacher William Deighan said the Brighton school remains open, adding: ‘However, I realise that during this worrying time that you may want to make your own decisions about school attendance. I can confirm that absences you inform us of will be authorised at this time.¬†

‘The local authority has confirmed to us that Public Health England and the office of the Chief Medical Officer are clear in their advice that schools do not need to close.’¬†

Hangleton Primary School in Hove said a parent has decided to self-isolate their family following ‘a connection to one of the health centres affected by the coronavirus’.

School leaders messaged parents on Tuesday saying that while there is a low risk for anyone attending class, they will authorise absences for families wishing to self-isolate. 

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said around half of their daughter’s class were not in school on Wednesday. They said: ‘I think that if the virus is around, keeping your child off school probably wouldn’t help.¬†

‘Teaching your child good hygiene is the best way we can help prevent the virus spreading. ‘My daughter is five years old, I have told her not to cuddle anybody like she normally does.’¬†

Portslade Aldridge Community Academy in Brighton said the school was contacted by a parent of a student on February 7 who was advised to self-isolate their child.

¬†Principal Mark Poston told parents on Wednesday: ‘I am pleased to say that the family have updated the school that tests have been done and they are not a confirmed case. The student will continue to follow PHE advice to self-isolate for the full recommended 14-day period.’¬†

A letter shared online, believed to have been sent to parents at Ocklynge Junior School in Eastbourne, said a staff member has been advised to self-isolate. The letter said the person involved had had ‘limited contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus’.¬†

Head teacher Jon Reynard added the school is ‘looking forward to learning continuing as normal in the approach to the half-term break’.¬†

A similar letter was sent to parents of pupils at Ratton School in Eastbourne. Meanwhile, pupils at Cottesmore St Mary’s Catholic and Bevendean Primary School in Brighton have been told they can stay at home after a couple of teachers feared they had come into contact with the virus.¬†

Reports of three further schools with a staff member or pupil in isolation have not yet been verified. 

Meanwhile, the Department for Education has written to schools ahead of the half-term break signposting them to public health advice. 

The letter says: ‘You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the coronavirus. ‘There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal.’¬†

‘Just received great news. My test showed negative to virus and have now been swabbed for second test, if that comes back negative I get released,’ he said.

Japanese authorities today confirmed another 39 cases on the ship, bringing the total to 175 with thousands of passengers facing another week in quarantine in Yokohama.

Conditions on the quarantined cruise ship are becoming more challenging, a British couple have said.

David and Sally Abel told Sky News that life on board the Diamond Princess Рwhich has almost 4,000 passengers and crew Рis getting harder. 

The couple, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, said passengers had been kept awake one night due to a woman crying in her cabin.

Mrs Abel added: ‘They are looking after us very well but obviously we are confined to our cabin and it’s getting harder. We are now into the second week, it seems an eternity to go.’

Mr Abel said: ‘It is more challenging, as each day progresses we are having additional people testing positive.’

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation warned the deadly coronavirus outbreak was the ‘worst enemy you can ever imagine’ and more of a threat to humanity than terrorism.

China hopes the killer virus, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives and struck down over 44,500 people, will be curbed by April.

But WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said it could rumble on for more than a year and warned a vaccine could take at least 18 months to develop.

He added: ‘To be honest, a virus is more powerful in creating political, social and economic upheaval than any terrorist attack. It’s the worst enemy you can imagine.’

Yesterday a top Hong Kong medical official predicted the coronavirus could infect more than 60 per cent of the global population if containment methods fail. 

Professor Gabriel Leung, chair of public health medicine in the city, said on Tuesday even if the coronavirus kills just 1 per cent of sufferers, it could still wipe out as many as 45million people. 

The WHO has long believed that a new disease pandemic could rapidly race around the world and destabilise society, due to modern air travel. 

Dr Ghebreyesus’ stark warning was a more broad statement about new unknown viruses, not specifically the Chinese coronavirus.¬†¬†

The number of new cases reported in China each day has begun to level off, steadily declining in the last six days.

But scientists tackling the crisis warn the true toll will be much higher than figures show because thousands of patients have only mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. 

And a top infectious diseases expert has said that while the epidemic may be reaching its peak in China, it will continue to get worse for the rest of the world.

Dale Fisher, chair of the Global Outbreak Alert Response Network at the WHO, said: ‘It has spread to other places where it’s the beginning of the outbreak. In Singapore, we are at the beginning of the outbreak. I’d be pretty confident though that eventually every country will have a case.’¬†

It comes after the WHO announced it had named the coronavirus disease COVID-19. CO stands for corona, VI for virus, D for disease and 19 for the year it emerged.

WHO bosses said they avoided referring to a geographical location, animal or group of people so it would not cause any prejudice. 

The virus, which has had various names from simply coronavirus to Wuhan coronavirus, Chinese coronavirus or even snake flu, needs its own moniker because it is just one type of coronavirus.

The word refers to a group of viruses which contains those that cause SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome). 

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

At least 1,116 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 45,200¬†have been infected in at least 28 countries and regions. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be 100,000, or even as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone, as they warn it may kill as many as two in 100 cases.¬† Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.¬†

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses).¬†

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’¬†

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 ‚Äď possibly 9,700 ‚Äď were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died.¬†

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.  

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus has almost certainly come from bats.¬†Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals ‚Äď the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in the city, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent similar to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’¬†¬†

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs.¬†¬†

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. 

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand ‚Äď to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms ‚Äď but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients ‚Äď at least 97 per cent, based on available data ‚Äď will recover from these without any issues or medical help.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much ‚Äď changing is known as mutating ‚Äď much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has so far killed 1,116 people out of a total of at least 45,207 officially confirmed cases ‚Äď a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 ‚Äď officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread.¬†

Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients are seeking help and are therefore recorded ‚Äď the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill you.¬†¬†

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot currently be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region. 

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.



Source link World News

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*