Coronavirus patient leaves Norwich hospital before positive test result

PUBLISHED: 16:17 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:26 21 March 2020

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Nick Butcher

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Photo: Nick Butcher

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Police have tracked down a sick patient who left a hospital before he could be told he had coronavirus.

The homeless man was tested for Covid-19 at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on Thursday.

But before his positive result came back, he left, despite being ill and staff wanting him to stay.

A message sent to emergency service staff said the man was very unwell and they must wear protective clothing if they approach him.

Police spent Friday trying to find him and in the afternoon an NNUH spokesman said: “Contact has been made with the patient who was already in isolation and arrangements are being made for him to come back for treatment.”

NHS staff cannot force anyone to stay in hospital, but police will be given powers to force people to quarantine for up to a month under emergency laws going through Parliament next week.

Anyone who refuses to be tested for Covid-19 could also be forced to have a test. The Bill is still going through Parliament and is not yet law.

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