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Coronavirus latest: Home testing to be introduced as Matt Hancock expects more cases in UK

Coronavirus cases are rising every day, but health bodies around the world have been working tirelessly to do what they can to keep the virus contained. On the 23rd of February, 115 people left supported isolation Kents Hill Park near Milton Keynes after all testing negative for COVID-19. On Saturday, 32 people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship were repatriated and taken to Arrow Park where they’ll now remain in supported isolation.

Four of the passengers tested positive for coronavirus and have been transferred to specialist centres.

Also, British tourists are current being quarantined in a hotel in Tenerife.

In a statement following this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Health Secretary Matt Hancock outlined the preventative methods the UK is taking to prevent further spread of what has been proven to be a deadly virus.

He said: “We now have testing sites at all A&E facilities, as far as we know, across England.”

In addition to these testing sites, Hancock also revealed plans to introduce home testing.

READ MORE: Coronavirus advice: How to prepare for coronavirus

He said: “We’re also planning to introduce home testing, and some of this has started already, so that people don’t have to go to the pod in front of A&E which has been put there to ensure people don’t actually go into A&E where they might infect others.

“The home testing is the safest place to be tested because it means you don’t have to go anywhere, and that will allow us to roll out testing in a much larger number of people as well as.”

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The NHS put out a statement on home testing at the weekend.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS strategic incident director for coronavirus said: “We have started to pilot home testing for coronavirus in London, which will be carried out by NHS staff, like nurses or paramedics, allowing people to stay home rather than having to travel, which is safer for you and your family and limits the spread of infection.”


Alongside improving methods for testing, Hancock also spoke of the “clear four-part plan” in place to respond to the outbreak of the virus.

He said: “Contain, delay, research and mitigate, while taking all necessary measures to minimise the risk to the public.

“We’ve put in place enhanced monitoring methods in UK airports and health information is available at all international airports and international train stations.

“We’ve established a supportive isolation facility at Heathrow to cater for international passengers who are tested, and to maximise infections control and to free up NHS resources.

“The NHS is testing a very large number of people, who have travelled back from affected contrived , the vast majority of whom test negative.

“In past few days we’ve published guidance for schools, employers, first responders for social care and the travel industry on how to handle suspected cases.

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If anyone has been in contact with a suspected case in child care or an educational setting, no special measures are required while test results are awaited.”

In response to school closure, Hancock stated there’s no need for schools to close or for other students or staff to be sent home if there’s a suspected case.

He advised: “Once the results arrive, those who test negative will be advised individually about returning to education.

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