People aged over 60 urged to avoid crowded places to halt spread of coronavirus

Health chiefs have warned people aged over 60 years old to avoid crowded places as coronavirus continues to spread worldwide.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning to urge people in that specific age group to avoid anywhere they could catch the virus.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general at WHO, posted on Twitter yesterday: "If you are 60+, or have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe #COVID19.

"Try to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick."

The message came after the WHO raised the risk assessment for the deadly outbreak to 'very high' globally – as nearly 87,000 people tested positive for the virus and 2,979 were killed worldwide.


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In the UK, the number of confirmed cases has soared to 23 after three more people have tested positive for Covid-19.

Chief medial officer Prof Chris Whitty said two of the patients had returned from Italy and the third one from Asia.

The three patients are from Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.

Prof Whitty added: "All three are being investigated and contract tracing has begun."

It's reported that the patient from Berkshire is a staff member at Willow Bank Infant School in Reading.

Head teacher Michelle Masters sent an email to parents and employees to urge them to stay calm and follow recommended hygiene procedures.

The school will be closed for a few days as they carry out a deep clean to prevent further infections.

The email read: "We regret to inform you that we were told today that one of our members of staff has tested positive for the Coronavirus, Covid-19.

"We understand that this will worry many of you, and can reassure you that we have taken advice from Public Health England, who have released the attached statements.

"We have also attached some FAQs which hopefully answer some of the questions you may have.

"We apologise that it has taken some time to officially inform you, however we have first had to perform the necessary checks and procedures that follow such an incident, which has taken most of today.

"Please can we ask that you remain calm and follow the recommended hygiene procedures."

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt , MP for South West Surrey, said on Twitter he was thinking of clinicians, staff and patients at the surgery during this "worrying time".

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