The First Confirmed Coronavirus Patient in London Took an Uber to Hospital

She broke almost every piece of guidance aimed at preventing the virus from spreading, reports the 'Guardian'.
13 February 2020, 1:27pm
Photos: VICE / Pixabay

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On Sunday, London's first coronavirus patient turned up to Lewisham hospital in an Uber, the Guardian has reported.

Flouting guidance aimed at stopping the spread of the virus, the woman – who flew in from China a few days ago – didn't take an ambulance or drive her own car, putting the Uber driver and his subsequent customers at potential risk. Lewisham hospital have said that no other patients there were exposed to the risk of infection.

In a message to staff, the hospital's chief executive, Ben Travis, said, "In this case, the patient self-presented at our A&E. As soon as the patient did this, the patient was given a mask and then escorted to be tested in the dedicated area we have assigned for coronavirus testing outside the A&E building – while awaiting the installation of a purpose-built 'pod'.

"As further assessment was required, the patient was then taken to a dedicated isolation room in the emergency department. In line with our protocols, throughout their care the patient was escorted and did not come into contact with other patients. The patient was later discharged and taken home by London ambulance service."

The woman's test results came back positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, and she is now receiving treatment at a specialist unit in St Thomas' hospital, near Waterloo.

This case brings the total number of diagnosed coronavirus cases in the UK to nine, with one man – 53-year-old Steve Walsh – released from hospital having fully recovered. NHS England said the scout leader, from Hove, no longer poses "risk to the public".

In the UK, a total of 1,750 people have tested negative for the virus, but health officials have told the BBC that more cases are "highly likely".