IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Whittington chief nurse: ‘Virus danger is still here’

No recorded cases of the coronavirus in Islington since Monday, but fresh warning comes over Covid-19 complacency

19 June, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Michelle Johnson: ‘It is vital that the public stay alert to the risk which the virus still poses and continue to strictly follow the rules in order to protect themselves, others and the NHS’

THE Whittington Hospital’s chief nurse has warned the coronavirus crisis has not passed, and has urged the public not to bend rules and restrictions aimed at stopping the spread.

Michelle Johnson’s stark warning comes after official stats show no recorded cases of the coronavirus in the borough since Monday.

Government figures show the total number of infections recorded in the borough since February 23 stands at 467.

The low falling figures have been welcomed but Ms Johnson said people should not grow complacent about Covid-19.

“We have seen a steady decline in the number of new patients we are treating who are unwell with Covid-19,” she said.

“That is encouraging and we would like to thank everyone who has played their part by staying at home and sticking to the government’s rules.

“However, it is vital that the public stay alert to the risk which the virus still poses and continue to strictly follow the rules in order to protect themselves, others and the NHS.”

The Whittington, which deals with patients from a wide area of north London, has seen a reduction in coronavirus cases and as the Tribune reported last month is now planning how the services that which were paused to deal with the first wave of coronavirus can restart safely.

A new online “service status board” is due to be launched, so people can see in real time which services are back up and running and if there are any changes.

Described as “a bit like the tube service status display”, the new service is due to launch next week.

Nationally, there were 1,218 confirmed new cases of the virus as of yesterday (Thursday) taking the national total to just under 300,469.

Figures also showed 135 new deaths as of yesterday, with the overall death-toll reported as 42,288.

Meanwhile, the government has confirmed it was abandoning its own attempt to develop a contact tracing app for people exposed to the virus, previously promoted as a way to control the spread by quarantining those who may have caught it.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said there had been a “technical barrier” discovered during a trial on the Isle of Wight, later explaining it did not work well on Apple’s phones.

He said Apple and Google’s own app did not measure distance accurately enough to gain his support at this stage.

Mr Hancock, speaking at the daily press briefing at Downing Street last night, said he could not say when an app would be ready. He had previously said a service would be ready in mid-May.

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