Public health campaign launched to stop spread of Coronavirus

Date published: 03 February 2020

A public health campaign has been launched to give people clear advice on how to slow down the spread of Coronavirus - and reduce the impact on NHS services.

It provides health advice on how people can protect themselves from infection - similar to the programme used for flu and norovirus.

It promotes important hygiene practices - like the Catch It, Bin It, Kill It campaign - such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue to stem the spread of the virusus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "Our highly trained and experienced clinicians are working round the clock to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the UK. 

"The Government has detailed plans for how to deal with an outbreak like this. We can all play our part.

"Lots of people are asking what they can do to help stop the spread of the virus. 

"Basic hygiene such as washing our hands regularly and using tissues when we cough and sneeze can play an important role in minimising the spread of viruses like this. 

"We have launched a UK-wide advertising campaign to help the public protect themselves and each other.

"While two cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, our world-class NHS is well prepared to manage these types of incidents. We are doing everything we can to protect the public."

HM Government and NHS-branded information will appear in radio and print media, as well as social media. 

The adverts will advise the public to:
- Always carry tissues with and use them to catch coughs and sneezes
- Bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel

People who have travelled back from the Hubei province within the last 14 days are being asked to:  
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu. 
- Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city
- If you are in Northern Ireland, call your GP.

Anyone who has travelled from anywhere else in China (not including Macao or Hong Kong) to the UK in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, should immediately self-isolate, even if symptoms are minor and call NHS111.

The government says the UK is extremely well prepared for any potential outbreak of an infectious disease - and that the UK is one of the first countries in the world to develop a test for the new virus. 

On Friday 31 January 2020, two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for coronavirus. 

They are receiving specialist NHS care and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus. 
The Government is working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had to prevent further spread and are in close contact with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure the UK is are ready for all eventualities.
Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. 

The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. For further information on coronavirus, visit

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