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26 February 2020

PHE and the NHS establish a new surveillance system to detect cases of COVID-19

Introduced by

Public Health England, NHS

Targeted at

Patients with severe respiratory infections who do not meet the current case definition for COVID-19

Timings

Published on 26 February 2020

Stated aims

To strengthen existing systems and to prepare for and prevent wider transmission of the virus. To enable Public Health England to identify early evidence of spread within England, if this occurs

Summary

This is the implementation of new surveillance at the intensive care units and severe respiratory failure centres of some NHS hospitals. Samples will be tested from patients with severe respiratory infections who do not meet the current case definition for COVID-19. A programme of testing with a network of around 100 primary care sites across England will also complement the detection system in hospitals, so that both mild and more unwell cases can be found.

Source(s)

Gov.uk news story