Coronavirus concern for Summit attendees
An attendee of the UK Bus Summit on 6 February 2020 has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The event, held at the QEII Centre in Westminster, saw hundreds of industry professionals gather.
Public Health England (PHE) has distributed a letter informing delegates of the attendance of a person found to be infected with the potentially-deadly illness. The missive did not name the person carrying the virus.
Penned by Dr Yimmy Chow, Consultant in Health Protection at the North West London Health Protection Team, Public Health England, the letter said: “One of our main priorities has been to identify any people who we think have been in close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 to provide public health advice, as they may be at slightly increased risk of catching the virus. While the degree of contact you may have had with the case at the summit is unlikely to have been significant, we are taking a precautionary approach and informing you.”
Following the news of the conference’s brush with Coronavirus, politicians attending the event have cancelled their engagements. Among them is Labour MP, Alex Sobel, who cancelled all engagements until the end of the 14-day incubation period for the virus.
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Lillian Greenwood, who made a presentation at the event, Tweeted the PHE letter and the following statement: “Eight days ago I spoke at the UK Bus Summit. This morning I received this advice from Public Health England. I’m feeling completely well but to be extra-cautious I’m cancelling my public engagements until 20th February. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “The conference was attended by delegates from across the UK bus industry, along with politicians and representatives from a range of organisations. None of our representatives at the event has evidenced any symptoms, however we will continue to follow the public advice issued by the health authorities.”
All press enquiries to the organiser are being forwarded to PHE.
PHE advice to attendees
Public Health England offers the following advice to anyone who attended the UK Bus Summit:
If you are well, there is no action for you to take. If you develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:
• Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu
• Call NHS 111 to inform them that you are a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
• In Scotland phone your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885. Please follow this advice until 20 February 2020, even if your symptoms are minor. Please be aware that this remains an evolving situation and this advice is based on the current available information.
More information on the virus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus