It has been revealed that more than more than two dozen people have been tested for the deadly coronavirus at Croydon University Hospital.

A Freedom of Information request by the Croydon Guardian showed that as of February 20, 30 tests have been carried out, although all 30 patients tested negative.

A message posted on the hospital's website dated February 17 gave the following advice to anyone concerned about coronavirus.

"The NHS in England and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases," the post read.

"The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

"The risk to the general public is moderate.

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"If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau within 14 days, follow the specific advice for returning travellers."

Other hospitals around South London have issued similar advice.

The statement added that people should call 111 if you've been:

  • To Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • To other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
  • To Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it's mild)
  • Been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

CUH also said not to go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations.

This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation.

Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate.

Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.