A special needs school staff member has been refused the coronavirus test despite the World Health Organization (WHO) advising the UK health officials to do so.
Parents are extremely worried for the safety of their children who all disabled and under NHS and government guidelines are deemed as “vulnerable” to catch coronavirus.
WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hit out at Boris Johnson on Friday after he announced only the most seriously ill will be tested, whilst others who notice symptoms encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days.
Dr Ghebreyesus said, “You can’t fight a virus if you don’t know where it is.
“Find, isolate, test and treat every case to break the chains of Covid transmission. Every case we find and treat limits the expansion of the disease.
“Do not just let this fire burn,’ he said. ‘Any country that looks at the experience of other countries with large epidemics and thinks ‘that won’t happen to us’ is making a deadly mistake.”
The special needs school has now closed until further notice, for a deep clean.
The headteacher, Joolz Scarlett of Manor Green School in Maidenhead said in a statement on Thursday, “We have a member of staff with a strongly suspected case of coronavirus.
“She has not been in school all week. Parents of children from the affected class will be contacted directly with further information.
“In conjunction with the local authority and governors we have made the decision to close the school tomorrow for cleaning as a precautionary measure.
“A decision regarding next week will be communicated tomorrow pending further advice from Public Health England.”
On Friday the school said, “The school will be closed on Monday so that we can start to determine potential student attendance and staffing levels and a decision about Tuesday will be made and shared as early as possible.”
The staff member who had not travelled and has not been in “known” contact with an infected person has been told that she will not be tested for the virus, despite showing all the symptoms under the NHS guidelines.
Boris Johnson, the chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty who is the chief medical officer for England, have all said coronavirus will affect the vulnerable.
Despite this the staff member will not be tested and will self-isolate for 14 days, but after that can go back to work.
LondonLovesBusiness contacted Public Health England (PHE), Dr Alison Barnett, centre director for Public Health England South East said, “Public Health England is working with health colleagues and local authorities across the South East to support and advise around cases of COVID-19.
“Our priority is to urgently contact anyone that has been in close contact with a confirmed case. Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case/s.
“This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public.
“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.”
“If you have recently been to one of the affected countries and are feeling unwell, you should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or ring NHS 111 – please don’t go to your doctor or a hospital.
Hunt who is the chair of the House of Commons Health select committee questioned the decision not to cancel mass gatherings after Johnson said on Thursday that many more families would “lose loved ones before their time.”
Over 5,000 people have died across the world and almost 140,000 are infected with the virus across 127 countries.
WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a conference on Friday, the death toll is a “tragic milestone.”
He said, “Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.