Coronavirus isolation pods set up at local hospitals

Date published: 26 February 2020

Isolation pods have been set up at local hospitals in the event of patients contracting coronavirus.

This is believed to be a precautionary measure - no cases have been confirmed in the Greater Manchester area.

Authorities across Greater Manchester are collaborating with public health bodies and following national guidance.

The Northern Care Alliance has confirmed that all Pennine Acute hospitals have set up the pods; Rochdale Infirmary, Fairfield General, North Manchester, Salford Royal and Royal Oldham.

An NHS spokesperson said: “Following national guidance all hospitals are putting in place NHS 111 pods at their emergency departments, so that anyone attending hospital with symptoms of the virus can be kept isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E.

“Over the coming weeks many more of us may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus's spread. Everyone can continue to play their part by taking simple steps such as washing hands to prevent the spread of infection and calling NHS 111 first before going to the doctors or A&E if they have any concerns about or show symptoms of coronavirus.”

Bury Council’s Director of public health, Lesley Jones, told the health and wellbeing board that while the risk to individuals in the UK is low, authorities are still preparing for the worst.

She said: “We’re hoping for the best but planning for the worst-case scenario. Both are still possible.

“The response has been nationally led and I have regular conference calls with the chief medical officer.

“At Greater Manchester level, there is a pre-emptive borough preparedness group. Communication around this is being led nationally.

“Monitoring is showing that there’s very high levels of awareness among people. If they think they have it, they know what to do.”

Because this strain of coronavirus, novel coronavirus (COVID-19), is a new illness, authorities do not know exactly how it is spread from person to person.

As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

The main symptoms of novel coronavirus are flu-like symptoms, including a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.

As of 25 February, a total of 6,795 people have been tested in the UK, of which 6,782 were confirmed negative and 13 positive. 

No cases have been confirmed as being in the Rochdale area.

Anyone who is suspected to have coronavirus is asked not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital but instead call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

People who have been to Wuhan or Hubei province in China in the last 14 days, are asked to call 111, even if they do not have symptoms.

Anyone who has mild symptoms after returning from other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, or to Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, the Republic of Korea or Malaysia, is also expected to call 111.

The same advice has also been issued for people who have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have coronavirus.

For more information, visit:

Joseph Timan, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Additional reporting: Michelle Kight, Rochdale Online News

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