Lancashire on alert as coronavirus cases rise

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has now been declared a public health emergency across Great Britain.

Currently 19 of the 40 UK cases have been confirmed in the North West.

The latest is of a man in Bury who was diagnosed with the virus last weekend after coming back from Italy.

A school in Preston had to be closed last week due to fears of the virus.

Archbishop Temple School was shut after a group of students returned from a school trip to Italy. 

The school underwent a deep clean last week and has re-opened today.

Anyone who believes they may have the virus has been told by the government to enter a 14-day period of self-isolation.

This means people who have the symptoms of a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath are to stay at home, avoid using public transport and try to avoid visitors coming to their homes.

Busy Bees, a national nursery chain, told staff and parents this morning in an email: “We have minimised the risk to children in our care by asking staff and families that have travelled to affected areas not to attend our centres until they have completed a 14-day period in the UK after travel.”

The chain has a number of nurseries in the north west including Southport,
Chorley and a couple in Preston.

The University of Central Lancashire has said it will follow the advice of Public Health England and advise staff and students accordingly.

A spokesperson for the university said: “The University is working on
business continuity plans to ensure that students can learn remotely should the situation evolve and there is a requirement to stay at home.”

To prevent the spreading of the virus further Public Health England has released the following guidelines:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze,
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often-use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not
    available.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • DO NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

A programme called Corona Virus: Everything you need to know will be aired on BBC One at 7.30pm tonight to help educate people on what they should do.