NHS staff have been briefed on how to handle victims bodies that have died from coronavirus, according to a Public Health England (PHE) document obtained by the The Sunday Times.
The document says, “The act of moving a recently deceased patient onto a hospital trolley for transportation to the mortuary might be sufficient to expel small amounts of air from the lungs and thereby present a minor risk.
“A body bag should be used for transferring the body and those handling the body at this point should use full PPE [personal protective equipment].”
Medical staff, Ambulance Paramedics and GPs meeting any person suspected of carrying the deadly virus should wear “full face visors” and place the patient into “immediate quarantine.”
“In the absence of effective drugs or a vaccine, control of this disease relies on the prompt identification, appropriate risk assessment, management and isolation of possible cases.”
As of Saturday 31 people had been tested for coronavirus across the UK with all test being negative.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer said on Friday following the COBRA emergency meeting chaired by health secretary Matt Hancock, there is a ‘fair chance’ cases will emerge in Britain.”
Professor Whitty said, “I am working closely with the other UK chief medical officers.
“We all agree that the risk to the UK public remains low, but there may well be cases in the UK at some stage.’
“The UK has access to some of the best infectious disease and public health experts in the world.
“A public health hub will be set up in Heathrow from today.
“This consists of clinicians and other public health officials, in addition to existing port health measures.”
Professor Whitty said in an interview, “We think there’s a fair chance we may get some cases over time.
“Of course, this depends on whether this continues for a long time, or whether this turns out to be something which is brought under control relatively quickly.”
He added, “I think we should definitely see this as a marathon, not a sprint, we need to have our entire response based on that principle.
“At the minute it definitely looks like this is a lot less dangerous if you get it than Ebola, and a lot less dangerous than the recent coronavirus MERS, and it’s probably less dangerous if you get it than SARS virus.
“What we don’t know is how far it’s going to spread, that really is something we need to plan for all eventualities.”