Two Labour MPs self-isolating after attending summit with coronavirus patient

14 February 2020, 16:54

Two Labour MPs are in self isolation over fears of coronavirus
Two Labour MPs are in self isolation over fears of coronavirus. Picture: PA

Labour MPs Alex Sobel and Lillian Greenwood are in self-isolation after attending the same conference as a woman who tested positive for coronavirus.

The unnamed patient, who is understood be a Chinese citizen who travelled from China recently, became the ninth case of the virus - officially known as Covid-19 - to be diagnosed in the UK.

She attended attended the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre in Westminster on February 6 along with more than 250 other individuals.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Sobel said: "As has been reported by Harry Horton, I attended the UK bus summit on the 6th Feb, where there was an attendee who has tested positive for coronavirus.

"Whilst I have been informed that I am at very low risk, I have called 111 to be formally assessed.

"As a precaution, we have cancelled all engagements until next Thursday when the 14-day potential incubation period will end."

Alex Sobel MP is being tested for Coronavirus
Alex Sobel MP is being tested for Coronavirus. Picture: PA

He added he is not showing any symptoms of the virus.

Ms Greenwood, who represents Nottingham South, said: "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.

Following the conference, The Transport Times email enclosed a letter from PHE saying delegates should take no action if they were well but to stay indoors, avoid contact with others and call NHS 111 if they developed symptoms such as a fever or cough.

"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," the letter said, as reported by the Financial Times.

The bus conference listed about 250 delegates from the nationwide bus and transport industry.

Among the speakers listed were buses minister, Baroness Vere and the former parliamentary under secretary of state transport, Nusrat Ghani.

Labour MP for Nottingham South, Lilian Greenwood, who also spoke at the summit, tweeted that she had received PHE's letter.

Lillian Greenwood has also self isolated
Lillian Greenwood has also self isolated. Picture: PA

She added: "I'm feeling completely well but to be extra-cautious I'm cancelling my public engagements until 20th February. Sorry for any inconvenience."

It comes as United Airlines confirmed it was offering assistance at Heathrow Airport on Friday after a passenger fell ill.

Reports on social media suggested the person thought they may have coronavirus.

United Airlines said in a statement: "Our team at London Heathrow Airport is providing assistance related to United flight 901 (San Francisco-London Heathrow) today, following reports of an individual becoming unwell onboard.

"The safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority and we continue to work closely with local authorities."

Heathrow Airport declined to comment on reports other planes were also held due to coronavirus fears.

Meanwhile, a Channel 4 employee is among those being tested for coronavirus after feeling unwell following a trip to Asia.

The MPs had visited the Queen Elizabeth conference centre
The MPs had visited the Queen Elizabeth conference centre. Picture: PA

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: "On Thursday a member of staff at Channel 4 who had travelled to Asia within the last month felt unwell.

"As a precautionary measure they decided to seek medical advice and, in line with the latest public health advice regarding the coronavirus, they were taken to hospital for a precautionary test. We have informed our staff of this and continue to follow all the latest public health guidance."

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said on Thursday that many more people in the UK may need to self-isolate to contain the illness, which has been officially named Covid-19.

Also on Thursday, more than 80 people quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral were allowed to leave following 14 days in isolation, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirming they pose "no risk to the public".

Suspected cases of coronavirus are still being tested, including one mother who told the Sun that her baby son had come into contact with an infected doctor while being treated for a leg injury at Worthing Hospital.

Stephanie Adlan, 28, said she was "terrified" for eight-month-old James and has self-isolated with her family but criticised medics at the hospital for a lack of information.

She told the paper: "I've had nothing from the hospital. Not a 'How are you?' or 'What's going on?' 'How's the baby?' We've just been told to stay indoors and call 111 if our symptoms get worse."

It comes as it emerged that the woman who is the UK's ninth case of coronavirus took an Uber to A&E after she developed symptoms.

The unnamed woman, who is being treated at a specialist NHS centre at Guy's and St Thomas' in central London, contracted the virus in China before flying to the UK.

Two staff from Lewisham Hospital in south London are now in isolation at home after coming into contact with the woman.

In China, the number of deaths from coronavirus has reached 1,380, with more than 63,000 recorded infections, in figures announced early on Friday morning.

A total of 44 more people on quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess in Japan have tested positive for Covid-19. Two of those are Britons, taking the number of Britons on the ship diagnosed with coronavirus to three.

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