An outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus has hit two departments at St Helier Hospital near Sutton, it was confirmed Tuesday (October 6).

Reports emerged early on Tuesday of a 'lockdown' at the hospital in response to the outbreak, something authorities at St Helier were quick to dismiss.

Nevertheless the outbreak was confirmed to have impacted both the Renal Department and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital.

In a statement released Tuesday, Joint Medical Director Dr Ruth Charlton, said:

"A small number of people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Renal Department and Intensive Care Unit at St Helier Hospital.

"The safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff is our priority and those who tested positive have been isolated from other patients, with arrangements in place to maintain safe and high-quality care.

"We urge people to attend their planned appointments, and our A and E remains open."

The news arrived as confirmed cases of the virus continued to multiply in South West London and across the UK.

According to Public Health England (PHE), between September 25-October 1, there were a number of new cases in Sutton.

Five new cases were confirmed in Sutton East, while additional cases were also confirmed in Wallington North (4), Stoneleigh and Auriol (7), Stonecot (4) and Worcester Park West (8).

Meanwhile 23,000 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the UK as a whole by the World Health Organization on Monday (October 5) after the Conservative government admitted a failure to the computer system used by its 'track-and trace' program caused a backlog of cases to go unreported.

Despite the error, the upward trend of increasing numbers of cases in the UK is clear, with an additional 12,871 new confirmed instances of the virus reported the day before that (Sunday, October 4).

That figure itself was a jump of some 84.72 per cent up from the Saturday figure of 6,968.

At St Helier, the authorities dismissed erroneous reports of a hospital-wide 'lockdown' in response to the Covid outbreak there and instead urged A and E and planned patients to attend as necessary.

A spokesperson meanwhile added that there was no evidence Tuesday morning that the outbreak had spread any further than the two departments mentioned above.

"The situation is isolated to the hospital and there is currently no indication of wider community transmission, but we, alongside our partners in the community, will continue to carefully monitor the situation.

"We continue to follow all relevant infection prevention and control guidelines," they said.