Posted by: John Brace | 31st January 2020

First coronavirus cases confirmed in York, UK Cabinet meets in Sunderland and Prime Minister expected to make televised adddress to nation later

First coronavirus cases confirmed in York, UK Cabinet meets in Sunderland and Prime Minister expected to make televised adddress to nation later

                                  

Arrowe Park Walk In Centre 8th November 2018

Arrowe Park Walk In Centre 8th November 2018 – Arrowe Park Hospital is still open as usual

As I write this (around noon on Friday) as far as I know the delayed flight to RAF Brize Norton is still en route (people on it will sent by coach to be quarantined in the staff accommodation at Arrowe Park Hospital (part of the Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust).

I’ve been in the staff accommodation before as my younger brother was living there for a time when he worked at Arrowe Park Hospital, but to correct some of the misreporting on this so far by other media – the Chief Medical Officer has already confirmed two cases of coronavirus in England.

There seems to be a certain level of public alarm and of course WHO (World Health Organisation) have declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

The hospital itself (including the Accident and Emergency department, outpatients and surgery) will be running as usual. The quarantine matter will be run by staff that aren’t hospital staff.

I am trying to remember back to a briefing at HMS Eaglet by the military on disaster response – if plans haven’t been changed since then, then I presume military personnel would be involved with of course coordination with the rest of the public services.

This matter shouldn’t however be seen as dog whistle politics. Everyone is to use a somewhat clich&eaacuted phrase “in this together”. There are well established plans to deal with this sort of eventuality by people who are trained in how to respond.

Wirral of course has plenty of experience in dealing with difficult situations and disasters!

After the New Ferry explosion – people will be wondering why when essentially money is no object to implementing the well rehearsed plans for dealing with emergencies when national government are involved, whereas when the response from some local council politicians was to wring their hands and use New Ferry as a political football.

However the five local MPs have issued a joint statement here. Wirral Council have made a statement that can be read here. Unconnected to the above (as it happened before the plane even landed), the Chief Medical Officer has confirmed multiple positive coronavirus results. Those patients have been transferred to Newcastle from York.

In a symbolic move on the day the UK leaves the EU, the Cabinet (national government) met in nearby (to Newcastle) Sunderland today and the Prime Minister will be making a televised address to the nation this evening (31st January 2020).

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.


Responses

  1. These people should have never been allowed to leave China, its only for two weeks for crying out loud, you can bet before too long more people will be infected, and only a matter of time before we have deaths, just madness to bring them home?

    • Thanks for your comment – yes the quarantine is only for two weeks (but if any of them show symptoms during that time it would be extended beyond that).

      As to deaths – if it becomes a pandemic (everything is being done to try and stop that) – it’s probably not started by what’s happening on the Wirral – as there were confirmed cases of the coronavirus before that plane even landed.

      There are estimates given out about the death rate regarding those infected at about 2 in a 100 to 3 in a 100. However viruses change over time.

      But just to provide some reassurance things would have to get far worse before there were deaths.

      The decision over the RAF Brize Norton flight would be made at a very senior level at national government – if British citizens were abandoned abroad there would have been criticism of that too.

  2. This Coronavirus doesn’t scare me. I’ll be damned if I let it turn me into a jibbering wreck and fretting about someone sniffling and sneezing and perhaps passing onto me something they’d rather not keep to themselves.
    Buggar it! Let it do it’s worst I say. I’ll be damned if some aggressive tiny dreadful bacterial germ stops me going about my daily business.
    Thinking about it. I hope I catch it. You won’t see me down the Ale House moaning and groaning. Mind, You probably won’t see me at all because some mamby pamby governmental health official decides that I need hauling away for a month in quarantine.
    Bloody quarantine! That’s the last thing I’d want and by the sounds of it, it’ll be the last thing I’ll be getting.
    We’ve had the lot. The millennium bug, avian flu, bird flu, SARS, the Syphilis and now this, Coronavirus. If it were so bloody deadly it’d have a proper name to frighten the life out of you. The ‘Dead In A Day Virus’.
    That’s a thought isn’t it. Getting told by the Nit Nurse you’ve unfortunately contracted The Dead In A Day Virus. You wouldn’t want that would you. If they really want to frighten society and create worldwide mass fear then give it a proper name.
    Those in the Middle Ages had the right idea. Black Death! Now that’s what you call really frightening. A proper name that’s to the point and fully informs the recipient of exactly what they’re going to be having and how unlikely it is that they won’t be getting better or being infected by anything else.
    I wonder why, out of all the lovely places upon Blighty, they deliberately selected the Wirral peninsula as a home for the Coronavirus germ?

    • Hi Bobby,

      Thanks for your comment – the coronavirus is a virus, not a bacteria.

      I could link to the entire genetic sequence for these strains (that’s why there is a test for it now).

      Viruses (if fatal) only survive because they don’t kill instantly, but keep their hosts going long enough to pass the virus on. Otherwise the virus essentially would cause its own extinction.

      Hence why the “Dead in a Day” virus is a somewhat interesting name – but not how it works in reality.

      As to names – the official name is 2019-nCoV.

      As to why the Wirral peninsula was chosen – you can have the official reasons if you like (which in the interests of openness will repeat here albeit people have their own views and take the below with a grain of salt).

      The official reasons given are that the Liverpool School for Tropical Medicine (which I have spent many happy hours in and has an excellent library) is nearby, also despite Wirral Council’s best attempts in recent times to obliterate the greenbelt – Arrowe Park Hospital is surrounded on three sides by it and that land is owned by Wirral Council (hence why it’s called Arrowe Park). So in other words with one eye on the ever likely possibility that human error would end up with a breach of procedures – in theory** it could be contained.

      There are other reasons too like keeping this away from a major population centre such as a town or city*.

      I doubt national government would want to trigger what would happen next if instead there was quarantining in a local major population centre like Liverpool!

      * which is a bit pointless now considering the coronavirus was here in the UK before those put into quarantine arrived.

      ** people worry too much.

      But the people here (especially since the New Ferry gas explosion) have been persistently calling out for more national government intervention.

      I think the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for!” springs to mind!

      Mind you it has made people think about the important things in life!

      This however is what Brexit Britain has become – this is a good test of resilience because if the UK can’t deal very well with an extremely simple problem such as this – one does wonder how it will cope with harder problems.

      The magic money tree has finally been found and indeed what happens is interesting.

      Bit like a weather forecast really there are projections – but I’ve probably waffled on enough in this reply already!

  3. […] However back to English, after Arrowe Park Hospital and surrounding buildings found itself subject to a lot of media scrutiny, it is time to write a follow up piece to the piece I published on Friday. […]


Categories