Richmond Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Shannon Katiyo, said:
“I understand many will be feeling worried about the current situation. It’s important that we remain calm and follow advice to prevent the spread of the virus and that you know the amount of work being done to keep everyone safe.
“Officers at the Council and our partners are working flat out to manage the situation and we have control measures in place to protect the public and reduce disruption.
“The Government and local authorities have planned extensively over the years for an event like this. We regularly practice and prepare our response to emergencies and follow tried and tested procedures to ensure that our staff and residents are protected.
“Contingency plans are already in place across Council services, in line with national guidance.
“We urge all residents to keep an eye on the Government’s guidance which is regularly updated and covers a range of topics. You can also sign up to the Council’s e-newsletter or follow the Council on social media (@LBRUT) for regular update on any impact on local services.
“In the meantime, we can all do our bit to help prevent the spread of the virus. The Government has advised that anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature to self-isolate for seven days. Schools have been advised to cancel trips abroad for children under 18 until further notice, and older people and those with pre-existing health concerns have been advised not to go on cruise ships.
“There are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family. These include washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, including before preparing and eating food. Please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve, not your hands, if you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin immediately and please avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth without cleaning your hands first.
“You should remain at home until 7 days after the onset of your symptoms. After 7 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can return to your normal routine. If you have not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, you should contact NHS 111 online.”