Millions of ill Brits to be told ‘stay at home’ for 14 days in coronavirus fight

Millions of Brits may have to self-isolate at home if coronavirus continue to spread in the UK, health officials say.

Hospitals have set up 'isolation pods' in bids to contain the virus and to ensure people tested are kept away from other patients.

Officials, including NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, say many more people may need to self-isolate to contain the virus, also known as Covid-19.

Staff will follow protocols as set under Britain's Pandemic Influenza Response Plan to ensure the isolation and treat patients for 'the first few 100 cases' to gather detailed information about the new virus.

But senior health managers have been told that NHS could stop testing patients when the number of confirmed cases reach around 100 and if there is evidence of 'sustained community transmission' within the country, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

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Nine people in Britain are known to have contracted the illness, along with 11 from France, including five Brits.

UK medics warned the disease, which is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan, China,  could kill 400,000 in this country.

All five Britons diagnosed with coronavirus in France were on a skiing holiday in the French Alps in January.

They were infected by a so-called 'super-spreader' from Brighton, Sussex, who was last week named as Steve Walsh, a 53-year-old businessman and scout leader.

Scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, told Channel 4: "This virus is the one which probably concerns me the most out of everything I've worked on."

Asked about concerns that 60% of the population could contract coronavirus, he said: "Given how transmissible this virus appears to be and that fact that at least all adults can be infected, we have much less data in children, then 60% is a reasonable figure.

"Within the first 12 months or so. What we don’t know at the moment is if everybody infected. What proportion might die and what are the risk groups? Our best estimates at the moment is that maybe 1% of people who get infected might die."

Dr Yimmy Chow, consultant in health protection at PHE, said: "One of our main priorities has been to identify any people who we think have been in close contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19 to provide public health advice, as they may be at slightly increased risk of catching the virus.

"While the degree of contact conference delegates may have had with the case is unlikely to have been significant, we have taken a precautionary approach and informed them of the situation."

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