Monday 10 February 2020
Public Health Services have confirmed that a number of residents in the Bailiwick have been tested for the 2019-nCoV novel coronavirus as a precautionary measure.
Figures show that the vast majority of people who are tested in the UK for the coronavirus receive negative test results and Islanders are asked to avoid speculation or worry.
It takes around 48 hours for Guernsey to get the test results as they are sent to a specialist laboratory off Island. To date 7 individuals have been tested with 4 confirmed as being negative with three still waiting for the results. For those individuals for whom we are awaiting the results, it is important to emphasize that they could be suffering from flu or another ailment.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health said:
'Robust procedures are in place to test for, and contain, a suspected case of the coronavirus. So far Islanders have listened to the advice that we have issued regarding travel from affected areas and have acted responsibly in contacting Public Health Services for advice.
Guernsey needs to maintain its ability to provide essential public services. An outbreak of any viral illness can impact on the staff and resources needed to deliver these services.
We are working to pick up any potential cases as quickly as we can and if they present with suspected symptoms, they can be tested as swiftly as possible. This is the same as in the UK and Europe, so we are mirroring best practice.
We are aware that it can look concerning or frightening when we are testing individuals as staff have to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).'
Further information is available on www.gov.gg/coronavirus
Anyone who has returned from Mainland China in the last 14 days is asked to self-Isolate for 14 days from the date they left Mainland China.
Anyone who feels unwell and has returned from Mainland China, Thailand, japan, Republic of South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days is urged call their GP or Public Health Services (tel 01481 725241). Please do not attend the hospital without calling ahead first.
However, Public Health Services are monitoring the situation closely and this advice may change as new evidence emerges.
Public Health Services would like to remind Islanders that they should always take simple daily precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness. These include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and have travelled to an area affected by the novel coronavirus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Follow good hygiene practices: cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, use tissues only once, disposing of them promptly and carefully, wash hands frequently.