Coronavirus: Inside the Wirral quarantine block as Brits arrive for two weeks

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Quarantined Britons are being held in Arrowe Park hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside (SWNS)

Britons evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak have arrived at a hospital where they will spend the next 14 days in quarantine.

Around 83 British nationals and 27 non-UK nationals landed at the Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire at around 1.30pm on Friday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.

Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside where British citizens are to be quarantined after flying back from China - 31st January 2020
A view inside an accommodation inside the Arrowe Park Hospital (SWNS)

A convoy of six coaches arrived at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral shortly after 7.15pm on Friday.

The vehicles were led by a police escort to the rear of the hospital and on to a side road leading to the accommodation block.

A view inside the accomodation block at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside (SWNS)
Security staff continue to plug gaps in the fences at the hospital accommodation block (SWNS

A medic wearing a white specialist suit was sitting next to the coach driver of each vehicle.

The Chief Medical officer confirmed on Friday morning that two patients in England have tested positive for the illness.

The pair are being treated by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in its specialist Airborne High Consequences Infectious Disease Centre (HCID), Public Health England (PHE) confirmed on Friday.

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Health officials are urgently try to trace those who came into contact with two people diagnosed.

The UK passengers were taken to the Merseyside hospital to be housed in an NHS staff accommodation block with access to the internet.

Patients disembarked from behind barriers covering the accommodation entrance.

British citizens arrive at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral, Merseyside after being evacuated and flown back to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire England (SWNS)

However, some could be seen inside wearing masks as they walked upstairs to their rooms for the next fortnight.

The quarantined people are being given fully-furnished rooms, food, laundry facilities and have access to a team of medical staff who will closely monitor their condition.

Kitchens are available for those who wish to self-cater, and families are being kept together, with games consoles, toys and cots also being provided.

Driver Liam Musgrove passed the convoy as it travelled up the M6 motorway.

“The experience was harrowing and quite surreal,” the 28-year-old told the PA news agency.

“Seeing such an organised operation in place it really puts into perspective what a deadly virus this could be.”

Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside where British citizens are to be quarantined after flying back from China - 31st January 2020

Chinese health officials said early on Saturday the death toll in the country from the virus had risen to 259, with the number of known cases rising from 9,962 to 11,791.

No deaths have occurred outside China, although cases have been confirmed across at least 23 countries.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed that of the SARS epidemic, although death rates are lower.