A woman with a dry persistent cough sparked concern at the chief medical officer’s coronavirus press conference today.
Prof Chris Whitty was answering questions in London this afternoon about the UK’s response to coronavirus in a room packed with journalists.
However, as those tuning in at home were watching, they couldn’t help but notice a female coughing throughout the meeting.
Former EastEnders star Jo Joyner was one of the first to pick up on the coughing – a symptom of the virus.
Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “Anyone else watching the BBC news conference with the chief medical officer and wishing the person with the dry persistent cough would GO HOME!! We need these guys fit and well #covid19UK.”
Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t the only person who was alarmed.
Another viewer soon added: “@CMO_England seems to be unaware of the woman with the dreadful #coronavirus type cough Face with medical mask in the press conference right now. #justsaying.”
Moments later, a second tweeted: “Watching @CMO_England doing an excellent press conference. But why oh why is the woman with constant barking cough there, even if it’s confirmed as not Corona Virus, it’s a terrible example to the public who are being told to stay at home with coughs like that.”
A third commented: “Someone in this room has a persistent cough throughout the press conference and the microphone is being passed around from hand to hand… Face with rolling eyes #UKlockdown #LockdownLondon #Coronavirus #covid19UK.”
The NHS and UK Government have both advised that if you have a dry persistent cough to self-isolate for 14 days.
Both organisation have also urged people to not visit their GP, hospital or pharmacy in order to avoid spreading the contagious virus.
So far, more than 100 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.
Currently, there are almost 3,000 confirmed cases, however, health officials believe the real number could be as much 50,000.
The NHS has stopped testing people with mild symptoms, meaning many have coronavirus but have not been diagnosed.
Anyone else watching the BBC news conference with the chief medical officer and wishing the person with the dry persistent cough would GO HOME!! We need these guys fit and well 🙈#covid19UK
— Jo Joyner (@dollyjoyner) March 19, 2020
Only those who are admitted into hospital with respiratory problems are presently being tested.
Speaking at the coronavirus conference, Prof Chris Whitty said: “I am not worried that people in the general public are not aware of this virus. I am very confident. They know this virus is out there.
“It’s clear that children get this disease much less strongly than adults. I think the data is pretty strong now. And it certainly is the case that the people that end up dying tend to be in the later part of their life – usually quite elderly or with previous health conditions.
“But there are also some young people who have ended up in intensive care.
“It’s important we don’t give the impression that young people are just going to breeze through this.”