A MAN who was taken into isolation after returning from coronavirus-hit Wuhan is reportedly being cared for in Oxford.
One of the Britons who returned from China on Sunday has said he now feels ‘fine’, however, after a cough and sore throat led to precautionary confinement.
Anthony May-Smith was taken to hospital in Oxford after feeling unwell as he made his way back to England.
He was among 11 British nationals flown from Wuhan to RAF Brize Norton on Sunday, which was the second evacuation flight back to the airbase.
Mr May-Smith said he had had ‘a bit of a cough and a sore throat’ in China and was put in a quarantine area with about 30 others on the initial flight from Wuhan to France, which then made its way to Oxfordshire.
He told Sky News: “We went through a load of checks at the airport in Wuhan, I had a bit of a cough and a sore throat there.
“Then there was 30 of us on that flight to France that were put in a quarantine section on the flight.
“When we boarded the plane in France to come to the UK, the nurse asked if any of us had had any sort of symptoms in China.
“I made myself known to her and she told me to sit away from anybody else on the flight.
“There were people with babies on the flight and I obviously just didn’t want to be anywhere near them, just in case.
“I feel fine now, I think it’s probably the stress of getting back and being run down more than anything.”
Sky News reported that he was being treated at an ‘NHS hospital’, but did not specify which one.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust declined to comment when approached by the Oxford Mail.
It would not confirm which hospital, due to patient confidentiality.
Mr May-Smith told ITV News that a paramedic in a hazmat suit escorted him off the plane and into an ambulance, and took him straight to hospital.
He added: “On arrival at the hospital there were people already waiting for us here.
“We came through a back entrance so we weren’t mixed with anybody at all.”
Last night, it was reported that he had tested negative and would be heading to the Wirral to join the others at some point today.
Anthony May-Smith, the patient in Oxford being tested for coronavirus, tells ITV News that his tests have come back negative and he will be transferred to Arrowe Park on the Wirral tomorrow to continue his 14 days of quarantine
— Jonathan Wald (@jonathanwalditn) February 3, 2020
Last week, ministers said passengers would be screened before boarding a flight to the UK and would not be allowed to get on if they showed signs of coronavirus.
Mr May-Smith said it is ‘a little bit daunting’ when medics enter his room as they wear a face mask, are ‘all covered up, (have) four pairs of gloves and wellingtons’.
The other 10 British nationals continued their journey to join 83 other people in isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.
All those who have returned from Hubei province in China are being quarantined in staff accommodation blocks on the site.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “During the most recent repatriation flight one passenger developed mild, cold-like symptoms.
“Following the agreed protocol, this individual was further separated from others on the flight and after landing was taken by ambulance to a specialist NHS facility for further assessment.
“Our robust processes continue to ensure there is no risk to the wider public from those in quarantine or those undergoing further treatment.”
Public Health England conducted a risk assessment before the plane door was opened, and confirmed the other 10 passengers could be allowed off the plane.
In a statement to the House of Commons yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the virus would be around for several months yet.
He said: “Currently the number of cases [globally] is doubling every five days and it’s likely that the virus will be with us for at least some months to come.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint.”
The Department of Health said yesterday that 326 people in the UK have been tested for coronavirus, but only two have come back positive.
They are a University of York student and one of their relatives, who are being treated at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Officials are still trying to trace 239 people who travelled from Wuhan to the UK before travel restrictions came into force.