The international outbreak of Coronavirus is a huge challenge, and rightly our Government is treating the issue with great care and seriousness. Their action plan published last week, sets out how they will respond to the outbreak, in four phases: contain, delay, research and mitigate.

Ministers are being guided by expert scientific advice in deciding when to move between the phases and when to invoke various measures. The Chancellor has also been reassuringly clear that the NHS will receive any resources it needs to tackle the virus. You can read the Government’s plan in more detail here:

It is expected that the number of cases detected across the UK will rise in the weeks ahead, but it is important to remember that most people who contract this illness will only experience mild symptoms and will not need to be treated in a medical facility.

Locally, the health teams who serve us in Maidstone and The Weald are well prepared. Maidstone and Pembury Hospitals have established measures to ensure that anyone with the virus can receive any treatment that is required whilst being kept in safe isolation. Meanwhile, Kent County Council are working in close partnership with Public Health England to mitigate and minimise the impact of the virus in Kent.

We, as individuals, must also do our bit to help contain and delay the spread of the virus. The simplest and most important thing is to wash our hands; when we arrive at work or get home; when we blow our noses or sneeze or cough; and when we eat or handle food.  Each wash should last 20 seconds minimum using warm, soapy water.  Vitally, anyone who experiences symptoms (including a fever, cough and breathing difficulties) should ring 111 and should NOT go to a GP surgery or hospital.

Please do stay up to date with the latest information and advice here: