Update (Monday 10th 11am): The latest statement from Servomex regarding Coronavirus:
All our people in close contact with the affected employee have since either tested negative for the virus, have been asked by Public Health England to self-quarantine, or were, based on pre-screening by Public Health England, deemed not to require further testing.
We continue to work closely with Public Health England and have received clear guidance that there is no reason for our employees not to attend the office and our office is therefore open.
In accordance with latest guidance on the virus:
Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP Practice if you’ve visited or travelled through mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, or Thailand and have symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath within 2 weeks of returning, or if you have symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath after being in contact with someone with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
PLEASE STAY AT HOME AND CALL NHS 111 INSTEAD.
Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are mild.
Sunday (10th): It is now thought the third Coronavirus victim in the UK caught the virus whilst in Singapore attending a business meeting run by the Crowborough-based company Servomex.
Details of the man’s movements after becoming infected are now emerging.
The middle-aged man from Hove, travelled to Singapore for a business meeting being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel between 20th and 23rd January. After the conference the man went to an Alpine ski report in France, where it is now thought he infected five other Britons staying in the same chalet.
The man returned to England on 28th January. When he became unwell, he called NHS 111 for advice. He initially went to A&E at the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton. After a positive test, he was taken to a specialist infectious diseases facility at St Thomas’ Hospital in London where he is being treated
Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director, said:
This patient did the right thing when they had concerns about coronavirus by calling NHS 111 for advice.
After a telephone assessment, they were advised to make their way to Royal Sussex County Hospital Brighton for testing. Following a pre-arranged plan with the NHS they drove themselves to the hospital, were tested in isolation and away from public areas of the hospital, and returned home in isolation in their own car.
Any travellers from China and the other specified countries who have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath are advised to follow the example of this patient and call NHS 111 for advice.
The business meeting in Singapore was organised by Servomex, a global gas analysis company, which has its headquarters on the Millbrook Industrial Estate in Jarvis Brook. Around 90 Servomex employees were at the conference in Singapore. Servomex has offices around the world including China, United States, India and United Arab Emirates.
The following statement has been released on behalf of Servomex:
Servomex confirms that a limited number of its employees in different countries have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and are now being treated.
We are working closely with all relevant public health authorities and are following their advice to ensure the welfare of our people, including supporting our affected employees, and the wider community. We have no further comment to make at this time.
Authorities are trying to trace more people who also attended the meeting in Singapore, as well as others who have come into contact with the infected businessman.
The Argus newspaper in Brighton are reporting that staff at a pub in Hove have been advised to “self-isolate” after the man visited the pub after his return home. A student at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy has also been put into isolation.
Details are emerging at a rapid pace. Click to read more about the coronavirus virus in the national and international media.
Public Information Campaign
The Government has launched a public information campaign to advise the public on how to slow the spread of coronavirus and reduce the impact on NHS services.
Similar to the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ campaign used for flu and norovirus, it promotes the important hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses:
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill. People concerned about infection should call NHS 111 for advice. Download the Advice Sheet about home isolation.
For further information on coronavirus, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.