A woman who “self-presented” at Lewisham Hospital on Sunday afternoon after falling ill has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
She has been taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in Central London following the positive test result on Wednesday.
It has become apparent that the woman, who is a Chinese national and had recently returned from Beijing, took an Uber to A&E. Uber have since suspended the driver’s account as a means of caution. However, Public Health England issued assurance that the driver was not considered to be high risk as he spent less than 15 minutes with the patient. It is unclear if the driver then went to pick up other passengers.
Staff at the hospital have expressed concern over the patient’s behaviour and are worried that coronavirus may have spread to staff and patients who were in Lewisham A&E at the time. Two staff from Lewisham hospital are now in insolation at home as a result. A member of staff in the hospital has told EastLondonLines that the hospital is on “high coronavirus alert”.
Dave Smith, the chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Emergency Care Associated, has commented on the patients’ behaviour stating: “It’s worrying to hear that the public aren’t following Public Health England advice about phoning NHS 111 to seek advice, and therefore putting other members of the public and NHS staff at risk of contracting coronavirus.”
Dr Sebastian Kalwij, who is a GP in Lewisham, has told EastLondonLines that Lewisham residents who are have a fever and are coughing and sneezing should stay where they are and not go to GP practices where infections can be spread to people who are already ill.