Two of the four new patients diagnosed in Brighton with coronavirus diagnosed are healthcare workers.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas this afternoon confirmed that the pair were advised to self-isolate as soon as they were identified after coming into contact with the Hove father at the centre of the Brighton outbreak.
One is understood to be Dr Catriona Greenwood, the wife of Bob Saynor and mother of their nine-year-old son who have also been confirmed as having the virus and are being treated in France.
Dr Greenwood and three men are currently in a London hospital alongside the Hove father and one more patient. All came into contact during a skiing holiday in the French alps.
Dr Greenwood worked an admin day at County Oak Medical Centre last week. She did not come into contact with any patients, but the centre is closed today for a deep clean.
Ms Lucas said: “I know many will be concerned about the new cases of coronavirus that have been confirmed in the city today. Five out of the eight current confirmed cases in the UK were reported in Brighton and Hove – all five of them are adults.
“I’ve spent much of the day liaising with the office of the Chief Medical Officer and with representatives from Public Health England (PHE). All the new cases are known contacts of a previously confirmed case, from Hove, and had been successfully identified by PHE. The virus was passed on in France.
“As a result of PHE’s contact tracing we now know the new cases announced today are all closely linked to one another. PHE’s priority has been to speak to those who have close and sustained contact with confirmed cases, so they can advise them on what they can do to limit the spread of the virus.
“Two of these new cases are healthcare workers and as soon as they were identified, they were advised to self-isolate in order to keep patient contact to a minimum.
“PHE are now working urgently to identify all patients and other healthcare workers who may have come into close contact, and at this stage they believe this to be a relatively small number.
“The County Oak medical centre has been closed as a precautionary measure while contacts are being traced. The Clinical Commissioning Group will be making an announcement shortly about how to deal with the temporary closure.
“I will continue to do all I can to make sure accurate and timely information is shared with constituents.”
The Hove father, who has become known as a superspreader, picked up the virus at a conference in Singapore before travelling to France for a four-day skiing trip with friends from Brighton and Hove.
He was diagnosed last Sunday after becoming ill. He didn’t visit A&E, but was treated in an isolated part of the hospital before being taken to London.
Since then, Public Health England has been tracking people he came into contact with. His family reportedly left the city to seclude themselves.
Staff from the Grenadier Pub in Hangleton which he visited on Saturday, 1 February have also been told to self-isolate, as have “a number of students from a number of schools”. The only school which has informed parents is PACA, following speculation on social media.
The Cornerstone Community Centre in Hove also closed today because a yoga teacher who runs a class there on a Monday came into contact with the Hove father.
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