Following news that the World Health Organisation (WHO) now officially recognises the Covid-19 outbreak as a “pandemic”, we’re looking at what that means for us here in the UK.

The “pandemic” label – described as a virus spreading throughout multiple countries at the same time – comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases outside of China has increased 13-fold in just two weeks.

While just a label, the announcement intends to galvanise Governments into doing more to prevent and delay the spread of the disease.

In the UK, that means self-isolating if you have a fever of above 37.8 and/or a new continuous cough.  Travel history is irrelevant.  GPs will not see any patients with fever or cough.

So, what does self-isolating involve?

According to Public Health England (PHE), self-isolation means staying at home for one week, which will mean not going to school or work and avoiding other people where possible.

This also means staying away from shops. Where possible, you should ask family and friends to deliver groceries and supplies to you, or order supplies online. Tell the delivery driver to leave the items in a safe place for you to collect.

If you share accommodation with others, it’s important that you let them know you are self-isolating and to separate themselves from you. Open windows where possible and thoroughly clean shared facilities, such as bathrooms and kitchens, remembering to use different towels and cloths to others. It’s best practice to return to your room as quickly as possible after making food or using the restroom.

Meanwhile, if you experience symptoms like those caused by coronavirus, it is important to not visit a GP or hospital. Instead, stay at home. Only contact NHS 111 online if you are unwell.

Covid-19 testing is only being done for symptomatic patients admitted to hospital

For more information on self-isolation, click here.

For medical help and advice, get in touch with our expert team today.