Second surgery closes over coronavirus fears

A doctors’ surgery closed briefly over fears of coronavirus after a patient from Thailand showing symptoms of the illness visited the GP

This is an edited version of an article first published by the Metro.

The Boundary House GP Surgery in Bracknell, Berkshire, closed on Tuesday afternoon for a precautionary deep clean in order to prevent transmission of the deadly virus.

The surgery has just under 20,000 registered patients across three sites. It posted a notice outside the building explaining to patients that the surgery was closed due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

It came a day after the County Oak Medical Centre in Brighton closed its doors for a similar extensive clean after reports a doctor working there had contracted the virus.

An inmate at HMP Bullingdon near Bicester, Oxfordshire, has also been tested for coronavirus after collapsing in his cell from the suspected disease. Mark Rumble, 31, was sent back to Britain from Thailand on January 27 to face charges of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and is one of two prisoners being kept in isolation and tested for the virus.

Dr Jeremy Mellins, partner at Boundary House GP Surgery, said: “We can confirm that a patient was seen at the practice premises on the evening of February 10, during the Extended Access service, who had travelled through Thailand.

“As a precautionary measure, the practice has been closed today, February 11, for a deep clean before opening again as soon as possible. We have been working with our public health teams and would like to inform our patients that all measures are being put in place to assure public and staff safety.”

Public Health England said an announcement will be made in the event a new case of coronavirus is confirmed.

A spokesman for NHS East Berkshire CCG said: “Patients will be advised if their appointment needs to be rearranged. We apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused.”

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So far eight people in the UK have been officially diagnosed with the virus and were all taken ill in York and Brighton. Supposed ‘super-spreader’ Steve Walsh, 53, who contracted the virus in Singapore before flying to the French Alps then home to Brighton, is believed to have passed the bug to five Britons at the Contamines-Montjoie resort, including a nine-year-old child. He has now recovered and says his thoughts are with those who have fallen ill.

Another of the eight cases is a healthcare worker at Worthing Hospital’s A&E department. Staff at the West Sussex hospital received a memo on Tuesday telling them a member of staff had been diagnosed.

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