Jewish MP asked to be assessed for coronavirus
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Jewish MP asked to be assessed for coronavirus

'As a precaution, we have cancelled all engagements until next Thursday,' Alex Sobel wrote on Twitter

Alex Sobel
Alex Sobel

A Jewish MP who was at a conference attended by someone diagnosed with Coronavirus asked to be formally assessed for the illness.

Alex Sobel confirmed on Friday he was among over 200 guests at the UK Bus Summit in Westminster on 6 February and an unnamed patient confirmed to have the new illness also known as Covid-19.

The Labour and Co-operative MP for Leeds North West said he had cancelled all engagements until next Thursday as a precaution.

“Whilst I have been informed that I am at very low risk, I have called 111 to be formally assessed,” he wrote on Twitter.

“As a precaution, we have cancelled all engagements until next Thursday when the 14-day potential incubation period will end,” he added.

A statement from Sobel’s office on Friday said he had “spent the afternoon in isolation in a room in his office away from staff.”

“After receiving advice from 111 and being established as low risk, Alex will not remain in isolation, but will stay away from public engagements as a precautionary measure,” it read.

“To be absolutely clear, Alex has not been tested for coronavirus, only assessed by 111,” it added.

Dr Yimmy Chow, consultant in health protection at Public Health England, said: “One of our main priorities has been to identify any people who we think have been in close contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19 to provide public health advice, as they may be at slightly increased risk of catching the virus.

“While the degree of contact conference delegates may have had with the case is unlikely to have been significant, we have taken a precautionary approach and informed them of the situation.”

A letter sent to delegates on Thursday advised them to take no action if they feel well. But anyone developing symptoms such as a fever or cough should remain indoors, avoid outside contact and call NHS 111.

The illness thought to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan can affect the patient’s lungs and airways.

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