Coronavirus Tube fears as TfL worker tests positive for killer bug and UK toll hits 280 – The Sun
A TRANSPORT for London worker has tested positive for coronavirus in the capital’s traffic control centre building.
Worried staff at Palestra House, in Blackfriars, were told this morning that a colleague had been infected with the deadly virus as the number of UK cases today climbed to 280.
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But TfL staff were ordered to attend work as usual after the office where the person worked was thoroughly deep cleaned.
The building is home to the Surface Transport and Traffic Operations Centre, which monitors traffic congestion, incidents and major events in the capital.
The infected patient worked for TfL within the building but not in the control centre itself.
A source said: “Staff were only told about the case this morning and were shocked they were still allowed in to the office.
“They are worried but bosses have assured them it is safe for them to be there.”
There have been 280 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, including 51 in London.
Three people have so far died after testing positive for the bug, two men and one woman.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said people are unlikely to be advised to stop using public transport during the outbreak.
He said last week: “I don’t foresee a situation where we’re advising people not to use the Tube or public transport, but we review this each day.”
TfL said: “We are working closely with Public Health England and are following their advice after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.
“The safety of our staff and customers is our top priority, so we are taking all necessary precautions and a deep clean has taken place within the building used by the staff member.”
The Prime Minister will today head an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss how to stop the spread of the killer bug.
Medical experts are now expected to recommend the government move into its second "delay" phase.
There are currently more than 110,000 cases of the bug globally, with more than 3,800 deaths.
But cancelling sports events and shutting museums and galleries due to coronavirus would be "premature", Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said.
And while some other European countries are cancelling mass gatherings or limiting the number of people who can attend big events, Mr Dowden said there are "no plans" for Britain to follow suit.
Mr Dowden insisted the Government is following the advice of health officials and, while the situation is kept under review, there is currently "no need" to cancel big events or for people to avoid museums or other public places.
But holidaymakers have been left confused after Foreign Office travel advice warned not to travel to Italy – but returning Brits are not being checked as they arrive back in the UK.
The Foreign Office advised against "all but essential travel" to the worst-hit regions after Italy locked down 16 million people amid virus panic.
More than a quarter of the country's population has been put into lockdown, including the cities of Venice and Milan, with sporting events, school classes, weddings and funerals banned.
Italy now has the highest number of confirmed cases outside China at 7,375, and its death toll stands at 366.
Last week, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty told MPs the UK was mainly moving towards the delay phase of its strategy to tackle coronavirus, the point at which such "social distancing" measures may be phased in.
Today, Welsh health authorities confirmed another two cases, bringing the UK total to 280.
France, where more than 1,100 cases have been recorded and 19 people have died, has announced a ban on events of more than 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said it is contact with around 142 British nationals on board the Grand Princess cruise ship, which is due to start disembarkation of US guests at the Port of Oakland on Monday.
The FCO said on Sunday evening it was "working intensively" with US authorities to arrange a flight for UK citizens, who are then likely to be taken into quarantine.
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