First three coronavirus cases in Norfolk confirmed

A dummy COVID-19 swab is handled inside a sealed sterile tube during a demonstration by lab technici

A dummy COVID-19 swab is handled inside a sealed sterile tube during a demonstration by lab technicians who are carrying out diagnostic tests for coronavirus. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Three people have tested positive for coronavirus at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, the first confirmed cases in the county.

The QEH in Kings Lynn which has suspended visiting. Picture: Ian Burt

The QEH in Kings Lynn which has suspended visiting. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The hospital NHS trust said an extensive 'contact tracing' exercise was now underway to trace anyone who might have had close face to face contact with the affected patients.

This includes other patients, their relatives and staff.

Those who have had close contact to the three patients will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after they had contact with the confirmed case.

This is a tried and tested method that will ensure that any risk to them is minimised and the wider public is protected, the hospital said.

A picture taken from a coronavirus pod in the Norfolk region. Picture: Chris Bishop

A picture taken from a coronavirus pod in the Norfolk region. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

MORE: Norfolk hospital suspends visiting as UK coronavirus death toll rises to 21


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The Norfolk cases come as the number of positive tests for coronavirus in the UK has risen to above 1,000, new figures have revealed.

There have been 1,140 positive tests in the UK as of 9am on Saturday (March 14), up from 798 24 hours earlier, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

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It also emerged 10 more patients have died in England after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 21 in the UK.

Symptoms of coronavirus. Picture: NHS

Symptoms of coronavirus. Picture: NHS - Credit: Archant

Earlier on Saturday the Queen Elizabeth Hospital announced it was restricting visiting to wards until further notice to protect patients, visitors and staff.

Exceptions include visitors to children's wards, maternity and neonates and relatives and friends visiting patients who are approaching end of life.

Ward managers have been told to use their discretion when giving access to visitors.

MORE: What are the coronavirus symptoms and should I self-isolate?

QEH's chief nurse Libby McManus said: 'To protect yourself, please be scrupulous with your hygiene and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and use and then bin tissues if you cough or sneeze. Thorough hand washing will help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.'

She added: 'Patients with appointments or who need to attend for urgent or emergency care should still come to hospital unless they are informed otherwise by the hospital.'

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