London's First Coronavirus Case Shamed for Taking a Taxi to the Hospital

By Gary Cutlack on at

The first diagnosed coronavirus case in London turned up at her local hospital's A&E department in the back of a taxi, horrifying staff and leading to the two hospital workers who initially treated her being forced into a two-week isolation period to see if they've now got the emerging international lurgy.

Although this is being presented as a bad thing because the patient hadn't followed public health advice, the hospital itself sent her home via ambulance to wait for the results of the tests; so they clearly weren't massively panicked or on the ball either. Also, she arrived on Sunday and the results didn't come in until Wednesday, which doesn't sound like a great whirlwind of emergency diagnosis kicked into action either.

What you're supposed to do to avoid getting shamed in the press if this happens to you, is wait outside the hospital at an ambulance bay so staff have time to suit-up and panic everyone in the vicinity by ushering you in while wearing hazmat suits. And you should phone ahead to say you're coming. And not take a taxi. Or a bus, probably. They don't say what the best way of getting there is, actually. Maybe phone 111 or 222 if you're sure it's not just a cold or a dry throat because the heating's been on all week. [Guardian]