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Coronavirus: Fresh precautions as Hampshire cases increase to 13



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People have been urged to wash their hands more frequently as coronavirus cases continue to rise
People have been urged to wash their hands more frequently as coronavirus cases continue to rise

PEOPLE diagnosed with coronavirus in Hampshire have increased from 10 to 13, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.

The number is among the total of 456 in the UK, as of yesterday morning (Wednesday) when an extra 83 cases were added – the highest daily rise since the outbreak began. There have been six deaths nationally.

In the BCP Council area the numbers remained static at three.

According to media reports, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to chair a Cobra meeting today ahead of approving a move from the “contain” phase to “delay”, including tougher measures to slow the spread of the disease.

GP surgeries across the New Forest and Christchurch have been taking measures to address the coronavirus, which causes the Covid-19 illness. They urged patients to stay away if they may have been exposed to it.

Wistaria Surgery in Avenue Road, Lymington, and Milford Medical Centre in Sea Road have “temporarily” stopped taking online appointment bookings.

Patients who have already booked upcoming appointments online will be contacted by the practices to ensure they are not showing symptoms.

They will also have to confirm they have not recently returned from affected countries or been in close contact with anyone who may have been exposed.

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The advice from Public Health England is for people to stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111 if they have been in contact with coronavirus carrier, returned from an area officially deemed high risk, or are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever.

People are urged to wash their hands more often, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve, not hands, and wash them afterwards.

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

A notice on the Wistaria and Milford Surgeries website says: “To help stop the spread of Covid-19 we have made the decision to temporarily suspend the booking of appointments online. We hope you will understand and support us in this decision.

“Anyone who had made an appointment online will be contacted to find out if they have any symptoms.

“If you have travelled abroad in the last 14 days or have been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus please check the gov.uk website for the latest Covid-19 advice.

“You may need to call NHS 111 for further advice before booking or attending your appointment.”

It added: “The NHS is well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases and has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.”

Those who phone New Milton Health Centre, based in Spencer Road, and The Arnewood Practice in Avenue Road hear a similar message.

Extensive guidance on symptoms, and advice for workplaces, mass gatherings, public transport and leisure activities has been posted on the website for Christchurch Medical Practice, which covers five surgeries in and around the town.

The information is available here bit.ly/3cOWSBJ.

Stores such as Superdrug in New Milton have been running out of hand gel
Stores such as Superdrug in New Milton have been running out of hand gel

Some events have been called off, including a beach clean and microplastics survey at Barton organised for Sunday by the New Forest branch of the Friends of the Earth.

The group said in a tweet that a lack of hand sanitiser was one of the problems, as well as access to the beach made more dangerous by the impact on the shoreline of recent storms.

Shelves in some stores have been cleared of items including toilet roll and hand sanitiser, with shopkeepers in places limiting the number of certain goods available per customer.

An argument broke out in Lymington when a man refused to remove his clinical face mask in Lloyds Bank – prompting the company to reassure customers that its policy was to serve people using them for protection.

The property landlord, who asked to remain anonymous, had travelled to Lymington from London
The property landlord, who asked to remain anonymous, had travelled to Lymington from London

The incident occurred in a queue on Monday afternoon after the property landlord, who did not want to be named, had travelled down from London. He left the branch after refusing to give his name to the manager.

He said he wore the mask as a precaution as he suffers with a lung condition and had just returned from Gibraltar. He said: “Many people were wearing masks in London and I did the same when I arrived in Lymington so as to help protect myself.

“It was also to help give other people in Lymington who had been thinking about wearing a face mask the confidence to do so.”

A spokesperson for Lloyds said it had viewed CCTV which showed that as well as the mask the man also had on safety glasses, a baseball cap and a hoodie.

She added: “Our colleagues are happy to help customers wearing face masks as long as we are still able to identify them. Unfortunately, on this occasion, we were not able to identify the customer but would be happy to do so in future, in line with our policy.”

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