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PHE issues coronavirus caution

Optometrists and other primary care workers have been told not to take appointment bookings from patients who may be at risk of coronavirus

glasses on the shelves

Public Health England (PHE) has discouraged optometrists from booking appointments with patients who have a cough, fever or shortness of breath after returning from countries affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Patients should not be booked for appointments if they experience the above symptoms and have returned from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the past two weeks.

The advice, which has also been distributed to other primary care workers, discourages practitioners from going to work if they have travelled to one of the above countries and experience symptoms.

Those who experience a cough, fever or shortness of breath after travelling to China or other affected countries in the past two weeks are advised to stay at home and call NHS 111.

They should do this even if symptoms are mild, PHE has emphasised.

This advice also applies to people who have had close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Patients should not attempt to attend a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

PHE advises that those at risk of coronavirus should spend the next two weeks at home and avoid having visitors.

It is permissible for family or friends to drop off food and run errands for the affected person.

The AOP has also issued member advice on the COVID-19 which can be found on its website.

OT endeavours to keep the most up-to-date news on our website and this information was correct when published. However, the situation regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. Please check OT’s rolling optics-specific coverage for the latest news and guidance on COVID-19.

Image credit: Pixabay/Martin Lutze