Staffer at Pakistan High Commission in UK advised self-quarantine

Published March 13, 2020
NHS advises people with flu-like symptoms against visiting hospitals, asks them to take online survey. — Twitter/File
NHS advises people with flu-like symptoms against visiting hospitals, asks them to take online survey. — Twitter/File

LONDON: A staff member of the Pakistan High Commission in London has been advised by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) to self-quarantine after the staffer developed flu-like symptoms.

Muneer Ahmed, the press attache at the mission, told Dawn that a staffer showed symptoms of flu with a cough and consulted the NHS, fearing the worst. The United Kingdom has reported 456 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with fears that more confirmed cases will follow.

“NHS doctors advised our staff member to self-quarantine as a precautionary measure and did not test them for COVID-19 as they did not show any severe symptoms,” Muneer Ahmed said.

He added that the staff member was in quarantine at home and that the consular section of the mission was closed on Thursday so it could be disinfected.

According to latest figures from public health authorities on the spread of COVID-19, six people have died in the UK.

The NHS is advising people with flu-like symptoms against visiting hospitals, pharmacy or GP surgery. Authorities encourage those with symptoms to go online and fill out a questionnaire which runs through their symptoms. The test asks individuals their travel history, symptoms and if they have come into contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The service strictly advises that those who have a high temperature or a new continuous cough should stay at home for seven days. It advises using the NHS 111 online service if an individual cannot cope with their symptoms at home or if their condition gets worse or do not show an improvement after seven days.

Those who are extremely very unwell and cannot use the online service are advised to call the helpline.

British PM Boris Johnson reiterated on Thursday this advisory by urging people to use the internet for information instead of calling 111 and asked people to self-quarantine if they have mild symptoms. “Many more families are going to lose loved ones,” Johnson said, urging the elderly against going on cruises.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2020

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