The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has risen to 206 – including four in Staffordshire – the government has announced this afternoon (Saturday March 7).
Two people who tested positive for the virus, also known as Covid-19, have died.
So far there have been four cases confirmed in Staffordshire – while a patient from outside the area is being treated at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care said the advice still remained to follow good personal hygiene and carry on with everyday life as normal.
Dr Harling said: “I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains relatively low and Staffordshire County Council is working with health colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Staffordshire are protected.
“If you have not been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of any of the four confirmed cases, you do not need to take any further action at this time.
“Good hygiene is the easiest and most effective way to protect you and your family, by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.”
There are now at least 12 confirmed cases across the Midlands.
No cases have been confirmed in either Stoke-on-Trent or Cheshire East at this stage.
Health authorities are not releasing further details on precise locations due to patient confidentiality.
Dr Sue Ibbotson, Centre Director, Public Health England West Midlands, said: “Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with any of the latest confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“They will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case.
“This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.”
“Anyone who has recently been to one of the affected areas and is feeling unwell, should phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away – and not go to a doctors or a hospital.”
As of 2pm there have been more than 102,000 cases across 96 countries and territories.
There have been an estimated 3,494 deaths and 57,461 recovieries.
More than 80,000 of the cases and 3,070 of the deaths have been in the People’s Republic of China – with the virus originating in Wuhan in Hubei Province in December.
Italy has the most confirmed cases in Europe – with 4,636 cases, 197 deaths and 523 recoveries as of writing.
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