Schools advised not to close over suspected cases

Tuesday 18th February 2020 17:14 EST

Schools are being told they do not need to close or send people home if there is a suspected case of coronavirus.

Guidance to be published by Public Health England says no restrictions are needed while tests are carried out. If tests are positive, health protection teams will speak to the head teacher and action will be taken.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office is "urgently considering all options" for Britons aboard a quarantined cruise ship.

The advice was published on Monday, after some schools in Brighton told concerned parents they can choose to keep their children away from school as an authorised absence, even if a coronavirus case is only suspected.

PHE says that it will continue to advise people who have been in close contact with a confirmed case to self-isolate. It is believed to have advised at least seven schools in Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne that a member of staff or pupil should stay at home for 14 days.

The Department of Health said last Sunday that 3,109 tests had been carried out in the UK so far, with nine positive results which is an increase of 117 tests on the 2,992 reported on Saturday.

Speaking to the BBC Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals and other trusts, said "the system is under enormous pressure" but the NHS is "very used to dealing with emergencies of all kinds”.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter