York hotel cordoned off after man 'taken ill' amid 'coronavirus concern'

30 January 2020, 12:33

The Staycity hotel in York has been cordoned off
The Staycity hotel in York has been cordoned off. Picture: LBC

By Matt Drake

A hotel has been cordoned off in York after a Chinese national was taken ill, according to reports.

Staycity Group has confirmed a man staying at a hotel in York was taken ill on January 29 and is undergoing tests at a local hospital.

Emergency services were called out to the property at 7:50pm on Wednesday evening, where he was taken for tests by masked and suited paramedics.

The Yorkshire Post reports that the man is a Chinese national and was travelling with two companions, but this has not been confirmed.

A spokeswoman for the hotel group said: "We are in conversation with Public Health England.

"He was taken away by paramedics masked up and suited so obviously that (coronavirus) is the concern but we've not had any confirmation of diagnosis or advice at the minute."

READ MORE: Coronavirus - What is it, how does it spread and how worried should we be?

The woman said it was not known if the group had travelled from China or which hospital he had been taken to.

The apartment the trio had checked into has been sealed off but all other apartments are in use as normal.

Until more information is available, the apartment containing the group's belongings has been cordoned off along with surrounding rooms.

The area will also undergo a thorough environmental clean and disinfection.

Keith Freeman, chief operating officer of the hotel group said: "Following advice from Public Health England we have been advised that the risk is absolutely minimal and that nothing has been confirmed thus far.

"The health and safety of our guests and staff are paramount and as such the apartment containing the group's belongings has been sealed off, after which it will undergo a thorough environmental clean and disinfection, as is company policy."

There has currently been no confirmed case for the coronavirus in the UK, but 130 people have been tested for the virus.

A Public Health England spokesman said: "There are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the UK and we are not providing a running commentary on tests that are underway."

Coronaviruses are group of viruses that cause symptoms ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars).

The death toll in China from the latest outbreak has risen to 170 and there has been nearly 80,000 cases reported within the country, according to Beijing authorities.

British nationals in Wuhan - where the virus is believed to have originated - are due to be evacuated at 5am local time (9pm GMT on Thursday) and arrive Friday morning.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “We are pleased to have confirmation from the Chinese authorities that the evacuation flight from Wuhan airport to the UK can depart at 0500 local time on Friday 31 January.”

“The safety and security of British nationals is our top priority. Our Embassy in Beijing and consular teams remain in close contact with British nationals in the region to ensure they have the latest information they need.”

Speaking at a Policy Exchange event in Westminster earlier, Mr Raab said officials in the Foreign Office had "been working tirelessly" to get citizens out of Wuhan.

He added: "We've been working with the Department of Health flat out, 24/7, to try and make sure we can identify British nationals in Wuhan, get them to a muster point and get them to a flight, a chartered flight in and out."

The flight could land at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, it is understood.

Passengers will then be taken to an NHS facility in the North West for a quarantine period of 14 days.

More to follow...