NHS England has declared coronavirus a level four incident – the highest level of emergency.
The announcement came after the Government warned a major coronavirus outbreak could see the Army on the streets, police ignoring minor crimes and a fifth of workers absent.
Under the level four alert, all hospitals in England have been told to “assume that they will need to look after Coronavirus cases in due course”.
A national incident management team and coordination centre have been set up for the Coronavirus.
NHS regions must report centrally and set up their own incident teams, including having a 24/7 contact for “patient management, alerts, referrals and tracking”.
Everyone in intensive care with a respiratory infection must also now be tested, as should everyone in a Severe Respiratory Failure centre.
The guidance says it is “now appropriate” that some patients may be put in “wider infectious disease units” – rather than specialist COVID-19 units – and could be grouped in “all acute units” if cases continue to rise.
Confirmed cases in the UK have now reached 51 and are expected to rise over the coming weeks and months!