Coronavirus latest: When should the UK ‘self-isolate’? Dr Sara offers her advice

Coronavirus originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China, but since the first cases were confirmed in December last year, cases have been reported in more than 20 other countries around the world. The ninth case was confirmed in the UK last year – a woman who flew into London from China.


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At least 70,548 cases of coronavirus have been reported in mainland China, and experts have warned cases of the virus in the UK could still rise.

To combat a rise in cases in the UK, health officials have said people may be asked to “self-isolate”.

So should be self-isolating now? TV doctor Dr Sara took to ITV’s This Morning to advise people may be told to self-isolate when the number of cases reaches 100.

She said: “NHS senior staff, once we reach 100 cases in the UK, we will stop testing for coronavirus and instead ask anyone who is suffering with flu like symptoms to self isolate for two weeks.”

While it can be difficult to determine flu-like symptoms and a bad cold, Dr Sara said “common sense” needs to come into play.

Self isolating will mean staying at home, but Dr Sara said you can still allow deliveries to come to your house or friends to pop over.

What self isolating means is “sustained activity”, said Dr Sara.

You should avoid going to work and school, and rather than going to your GP surgery, call your doctor or 111.

Dr Sara added: “This rule hasn’t come into place yet, but it cases do reach 100 it might be the case.”

The first death in Europe from coronavirus was confirmed two days ago.

A Chinese tourist was visiting France when he died from the virus.

He was an 80-year-old man from Hubei province.


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Dr Sara said: “There is a very significant link there.

“We do know, there are still only three deaths outside of China.

“If you’re fairly healthy and even if you do get coronavirus, it’s like a very, very bad flu.”

Out of the nine cases in the UK, eight patients receiving treatment have now been discharged.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The main symptoms of coronavirus are listed by the NHS as:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

You should call 111 now if you’ve been:

  • To Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • To other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • To Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • In close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

The NHS adds: “Do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

“Tell 111 about any recent travel and any symptoms you have.”

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