A Southwark MP’s office will close for two weeks as a coronavirus precaution as a major hospital Trust has cancelled inpatient activity.
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP, Neil Coyle, said his Jamaica Road office would be closed “as a precaution” because of the “age and vulnerability” of some of those coming to his surgery for advice.
No-one on his team is displaying any symptoms of the virus, he said.
“I hope everyone is taking similar measures,” he told the News.
“The Government is ignoring best practice abroad and scientific advice in the UK.
“It’s typically reckless of Johnson but I hope local employers are all encouraging home working where possible and limiting meetings and events.”
Yesterday the Government announced the beginning of a ‘delay’ phase of virus response, but said it would not yet be closing schools or banning large public gatherings.
My Jamaica Road office will not be open for two weeks. Please call me on 020 7232 4640 or email me at Neil.Coyle.MP@parliament.uk if you need my help.
— Neil Coyle (@coyleneil) March 13, 2020
Mr Coyle urged his constituents to look after one another and to remember to wash their hands to prevent spread of the disease.
It comes after King’s College NHS Trust, which runs a major hospital at Denmark Hill, announced that all elective inpatient activity will be suspended until further notice.
Operations for life-threatening conditions such as cancer are exempt.
Day cases are being reviewed on a daily basis, while outpatient appointments will be carried out over the phone if safe to do so.
The extraordinary step has been taken because growing numbers of coronavirus cases mean resources need to be redeployed, said the hospital.
The News has contacted Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, which runs two big Southwark hospitals, to ask whether it will be announcing a similar move.
Two other London hospitals, St George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford have also suspended inpatient surgeries.
Nationally, 798 cases have been confirmed as of 9am this morning.
But the Government medical advisers yesterday afternoon said they believed between five thousand and ten thousand people could have the virus.
Ten deaths have been confirmed in the UK as a result of coronavirus. Government guidance on how to manage the spread of the virus can be found here.