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Novel Coronavirus - Update Posted on 31 Jan 2020

Information update from Public Health England

If you have been to Wuhan, China in the last 14 days and develop either a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, or if you have difficulty breathing, please call NHS 111.

Anyone ringing 111 will, as part of the initial national telephony platform, be played a recorded message that asks them to declare if their call relates to a concern about coronavirus.

When the call is answered, if the caller declares that their call is in regard to the coronavirus, 111 will ask further questions  to establish whether the patient meets the current criteria for a possible case.

At present the criteria are as follows:

  1. That the patient has either travelled to Wuhan City or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days
  2. Or, has been in contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days.


Where these criteria are not met, calls are handled in the usual way.

Where these criteria are met, calls are passed to a Clinician within 111 for assessment. This will involve further confirmation of the exposure.

Asymptomatic patients (those producing or showing no symptoms), will be given advice to self-isolate and 111 will seek their consent to pass their details to Public Health England for further follow up.

Symptomatic patients (those exhibiting or involving medical symptoms), will be managed in accordance with their symptoms. If this is to attend an Emergency Department, then 111 will liaise directly with them to communicate the concern.

We hope this provides you with assurance that although there is a lot of public concern at present, 111 are following nationally agreed triage guidance. We will provide further updates as they occur.

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