02/02/2020 | Sinead Haycox

What you should know about Coronavirus

02/02/2020 | Sinead Haycox

What you should know about Coronavirus

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a group of airborne viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections.

The new coronavirus is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a market in the city of Wuhan and can now spread between people.

How does it spread?

The virus can be spread by being in close contact with an infected person, and by coughing and sneezing, just like the common cold.

What are the symptoms?

According to NHS England, the symptoms of Coronavirus usually include:

– Cough

– High temperature

– Difficulty breathing

What if a guest displays symptoms?

If a guest appears to exhibit symptoms the General Manager should be notified immediately. Where possible determine if the guest in the 14 days before the onset of illness has either traveled to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China or has been in contact with a confirmed case.

If this is the case you must immediately:

– Notify your Line Manager

– Contact your local Health Protection Agency/Team for further advice

England (https://www.gov.uk/health-protection-team)

Scotland (https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/)

Wales (www.publichealthwales.wales.nhs.uk/)

Ireland (https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/)

If you operate a hotel, the guest should be advised to remain in their room and prompt medical treatment arranged.   Arrangements should be made for them and their family, to have their meals in their room.

What is the current situation?

As of 3rd February 2020, over 17,000 cases have been confirmed and 361 deaths. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions, with the elderly and those with a compromised immune system, particularly at risk.

Two patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus. If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer.

Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. The risk to individuals in the UK has not changed at this stage.

What is being done to prevent the spread of infection?

Internationally there are strict travel restrictions in place to and from China, anyone displaying symptoms on arrival at airports will be quarantined. In Wuhan, face masks are mandatory in public places, with schools and universities closed.

What do I need to do to prevent spread?

– Ensure your business maintains its usual high standards of cleanliness.

– Ensure colleagues maintain high standards of hand and respiratory hygiene.

– Ensure your Food Safety Management System is being followed.

– Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

– Managing and controlling guest’s personal hygiene is more challenging, it is recommended that hand sanitiser gel and tissues are available on reception desks for guest use.

Can I accept food from China?

Yes, although Coronviruses are zoonotic (can spread between animal and human) the current outbreak is human to human transmission.  There are currently no restrictions on international trade movements.

Only use/purchase food from nominated/approved suppliers.

There are ongoing investigations into this virus and this is a rapidly evolving situation, so monitor the Public Health England website for updates and further advice.  If you are a customer and need advice, please call the helpline service or your Account Manager.