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THE Care Quality Commission (CQC) expressed concern today over the NHS’s preparations to deal with the coronavirus.
The criticism came after many reports have shown that accident and emergency departments are already struggling to cope with winter admissions.
In Britain 13 people have so far been diagnosed with Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Those affected include four who had been on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was held in quarantine in Japan.
British couple David and Sally Abel, from Northamptonshire, who were on the cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary, are still in a Japanese hospital after being diagnosed with coronavirus and pneumonia.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted through his Downing Street mouthpieces that Britain is “well prepared” for any spread of the virus.
A spokesman said that they would be following the advice from public health and medical experts.
But inspectors from the CQC said that the use of corridors to treat sick patients in accident and emergency units was “becoming normalised.”
It said that departments were struggling with a lack of staff, poor leadership and long delays leading to crowding and safety risks.
Since December, the CQC has carried out more than a dozen small one-day inspections of accident and emergency departments where it had specific concerns about possible safety risks.
Professor Ted Baker of the CQC said: “Our inspections are showing that this winter is proving as difficult for emergency departments as was predicted.”
Over the weekend 118 people repatriated from Wuhan were released from a coronavirus quarantine centre in Milton Keynes.
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