Wednesday 12 February 2020 3:14 pm

Coronavirus latest: UK 'superspreader' discharged from hospital

This page collects all the latest news about the coronavirus outbreak, now called Covid-19

The man connected to 11 cases of the coronavirus has been discharged from hospital having made a full recovery from the illness.

Business Steve Walsh, who contracted the illness on a work visit to Singapore before passing it to others on a skiing trip in France, left Guys and St Thomas’ hospital today. He is no longer contagious, according to the NHS.

In a statement, Walsh said: “I’m happy to be home and feeling well. I want to give a big thank you to the NHS who have been great throughout and my thoughts are with everyone around the world who continues to be affected by the virus.

“It’s good to be back with my family and I would ask you please to respect our privacy from this point on”.

Walsh was discharged after posting two negative tests for the virus, 24 hours apart. Thus far eight people have been diagnosed with the disease in the UK, including two GPs.

F1’s Chinese Grand Prix postponed

The Chinese Grand Prix will be postponed in light of the coronavirus outbreak, organisers have announced.

The annual event had originally been scheduled for 17-19 April but Formula 1 and the sport’s governing body accepted the organisers’ request for a delay earlier today.

Read more: What is the coronavirus and how dangerous is it?

In a statement, the FIA said the decision had been taken in light of the WHO declaring the coronavirus a global health emergency.

The FIA, together with Formula One, has have jointly decided to accept this official request from the promoter and postpone the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for 19 April. As a result of continued health concerns and with the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, the FIA and Formula One have taken these measures in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains of primary concern

Formula One

“The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible,” the FIA added.

“We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time.”They went on to say all parties are monitoring the situation and are taking steps to determine a possible alternative date later in the year. 

The Chinese Grand Prix is the latest of several sporting events to be postponed or cancelled in light of the new strain of coronavirus.

Formula E has cancelled its meeting set to be held in Sanya in March and the World Athletics Championships in Nanjing, also set for March, have also been cancelled.

UK prisoner being tested for Covid-19

One of the two prisoners at HMP Bullingdon who is being tested for coronavirus has been named as Mark John Rumble. 

Thai authorities confirmed the identity of the 31-year-old, who was brought back to the UK from the country on a flight two weeks ago, Sky News reported.

Read more: Coronavirus: China sacks local officials as death toll passes 1,000

The identity of the second prisoner being tested for the virus is unknown. Prisoners at the Oxfordshire jail are now being held in isolation in their cells, with their access restricted to the wing of the prison where they are being held.

Public Health England (PHE) is on site to help manage the situation, and the prison remains operational.

A&E hospital doctor infection

Earlier today, it emerged that an A&E doctor from Worthing Hospital in West Sussex is among the UK’s eight coronavirus cases.

PHE is now contacting a small number of patients who were in contact with the doctor, it said, adding that the hospital is open as normal, the BBC reported.

It follows the closure of three medical centres in Brighton in connection with coronavirus.

Brighton GP Catriona Greenwood contracted coronavirus at a chalet in the French Alps last week, believed to have caught it from a so-called super spreader, Steve Walsh. He passed the virus onto 11 people after catching it in Singapore at a conference.

Speaking yesterday, Walsh said he had “fully recovered” from the coronavirus. Greenwood’s practice, County Oak medical centre in Brighton, was closed for deep cleaning.

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Patcham Nursing Home in Brighton said it was “closed to all visitors” yesterday as a precaution after an infected doctor visited a patient at the home. 

Read more: What is the coronavirus and how dangerous is it?

Another branch of the County Oak medical centre also closed yesterday, as well as the Haven Practice in Brighton.

Seven schools in Brighton and Hove have now issued warnings to parents about the spread of the coronavirus on the south coast. 

Two families with children at Carden Primary School, which is opposite the County Oak Medical Centre, have been told to self-isolate. 

‘Coronavirus could be worse than terrorism’

The World Health Organization (WHO) named the new strain of coronavirus Covid-19 yesterday.

Total cases of coronavirus in China have risen to 44,653, health officials said, including 2,015 new confirmed cases. Markets took heart from the number, with it being the lowest daily rise since 30 January.

But WHO said the threat of coronavirus could be worse than terrorism.

Read more: Coronavirus has exposed the flaws of our globalised system

The world must “wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one”, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last night. He added that the first vaccine was 18 months away.

China’s state news agency, Xinhua, said the country’s fight against coronavirus was a “battle that has no gunpowder smoke but must be won”.

Singapore bank staff evacuated

Around 300 members of staff of Singapore’s largest bank, DBS, have been evacuated after one employee contracted coronavirus, according to the BBC.

The staff had all been working together on the 43rd floor of the office today when the employee’s coronavirus test came back positive.

“As a precautionary measure, all employees on the affected floor vacated the premises to work from home,” DBS said in a statement.

Singapore has counted 47 cases of the coronavirus, with the latest case bringing that total to 48.

When will coronavirus epidemic end?

Markets reacted well today to the lowest rise in reported cases of the virus. But medical experts have warned this does not mean China’s prediction of the epidemic ending in April is accurate.

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, told Sky News: “We can’t treat it at the moment.

Read more: UK coronavirus: Brighton GP practice closes after positive test

“If someone becomes very ill with it then they will be admitted to an isolation unit in a hospital and given the necessary support but we have no specific treatment for the virus at the moment.

“I know that people are working very hard getting a vaccine together. People are saying that maybe there will be one available by the summer.”

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“If people have been in contact with anybody who might have the virus, them self isolating for 14 days is an effective procedure that will stop it spreading and that’s the most important thing, in the NHS at the moment it doesn’t look like it’s spreading rapidly.”

He urged people who believe they have coronavirus to self-isolate.

“We expect there to be more cases but as long as people do self isolate it is much less to spread badly,” he added.