Coronavirus: The NHS pulls together – and is well prepared

PUBLISHED: 11:56 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:54 09 March 2020

A man on the Jubilee line wearing a protective facemask. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

A man on the Jubilee line wearing a protective facemask. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

The chair of Brent’s community and wellbeing committee gives an update on coronavirus preparations in the borough.

Councillor Ketan ShethCouncillor Ketan Sheth

Coronavirus - officially COVID-19 - is the number one health topic right now, with cases confirmed at Northwick Park Hospital. It's right to ask questions - so do so.

The best and most up-to-date information can be found at You will find information on how to get help and keep your family well.

If you think you may have Covid-19 or have travelled to an affected area, please do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the NHS 111 service to find out what to do next. This is very important, if you need to be tested, 111 can arrange for you to receive a test in your own home or at a dedicated centre, which they can advise you on.

I'm a governor in the NHS so I know how the NHS pulls together on occasions like this and I know they are well prepared.

Like the common cold, this infection comes from close contact with a person who has the virus and they cough or sneeze near you, or touch your hands.

The NHS say to use 111 first for advice if:

- you think you might have coronavirus

You may also want to watch:

- in the last 14 days you've been to a high risk country or area

- you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus

But do your bit too - NHS 'best practice' says:

- always carry tissues with you; use them to catch your cough or sneeze; bin it, wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel

- wash your hands often with soap and water (or sanitiser), for 20 seconds especially after using public transport

- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

- avoid close contact with people who are unwell

As the World Health Organisation says: "Be guided by facts not fears, science not rumours. Trust the NHS. I do."

Cllr Ketan Sheth is Brent Council's chair of the community and wellbeing scrutiny committee.

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