Staying alert to coronavirus still as important as ever, says Swindon-based GP

One of Swindon’s leading doctors has called on people living in the town to be extra cautious and to continue doing everything possible to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The plea from Dr Amanda Webb, a GP at Westrop Surgery in Highworth and the ICB’s Clinical Chair for Swindon, follows a number of positive Covid-19 test results across the town.

And while these local outbreaks have so far been largely contained, with work to trace those who may have been in contact with anyone currently infected ongoing, there is still a pressing need for people to stay alert.

Dr Webb said: “Although it’s true we are not in the same place we were in March and April, these recent outbreaks are a stark reminder that coronavirus is still very much with us and, as such, we need to act accordingly.

“Staying at least two metres apart from others when outside our homes, coupled with regular hand washing and mask wearing in shops and on public transport, are the actions that will keep us safe and keep the rate of infection down.

“It’s also never been more important for people to self-isolate and to get tested for coronavirus at the first sign of symptoms showing, as this not only protects others but allows our public health team to really get a hold on where the virus is currently active.

“The testing is free and quick to arrange, with the results usually being returned within a day or two, so please do not put it off or dismiss the symptoms as a common cold, as this carelessness could ultimately cost lives.”

Swindon’s rate of coronavirus infections increased during the end of July and beginning of August following an outbreak among staff at the XPO Logistics distribution centre.

The local public health team has been working with partner agencies from across the local area, including teams at the Great Western Hospital and also Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, to contain the outbreak and to limit the further spread of infection.

Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, has said the risk of this outbreak spilling out into the local community remains low.

Any person showing symptoms for coronavirus, such as a fever, a new and persistent cough or a change to taste and smell, can book a test by calling 119 from any landline or mobile phone.

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