Threat level raised in hospital quarantine row

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Front entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital, where coronavirus patients are quarantined. Pic © Google Maps

A demand by a quarantined patient to leave Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital led to the UK Government raising the current coronavirus warning to “a serious and imminent threat to public health”.

The number of known UK cases of the virus has doubled to eight, while Arrowe Park is housing more than 100 people who have returned from China in a 14-day lockdown to check that they do not test positive for the illness.

The government measure was announced to give officials new powers to compel people to stay in isolation after one of the Wirral-based inpatients had threatened to walk out of the facility.

The Wuhan coronavirus is a new strain of a respiratory disease, named after the area in China where it is believed to have originated. The people staying at Arrowe Park were evacuated from Wuhan.

There have been reports of hostile behaviour towards members of the Chinese community in Liverpool, and some international students say they have received verbal abuse. Liverpool has one of Europe’s largest Chinese communities and a number of students hail from there.

Twitter: Joe Anderson

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has condemned this behaviour as he took to social media to express support for the community. In a tweet, he said: “I was down in Chinatown today showing my support for the Chinese community. The message is loud and clear they are open for business so come down and support our community at this difficult time.”

He was joined by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, along with vice chancellors of Liverpool Universities, in issuing a statement expressing their response to the abusive behaviour, which read: “We, as leaders of the Liverpool City Region and its universities, are exceptionally proud of the diversity and vibrancy of our City Region; proud to be known for our welcoming and inclusive nature; and proud of our community spirit.

“We are therefore shocked and saddened to have received reports of verbal abuse towards members of our Chinese community in response to the coronavirus outbreak in China.’

Liverpool John Moores University has issued guidance to students who have recently returned from China.

LJMU’s Chinese Engagement Officer, Shao Sean, told JMU Journalism: “The outbreak city is Wuhan, but all of our students are from other Chinese cities. All the Chinese students have now registered.”

“We know the incubation period of the virus is three to 14 days, and fortunately most students arrived in mid-January, which means they have got through the 14 days healthily.”

YouTube: BBC News

About Louise Jamison, JMU Journalism