The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is “closely monitoring developments” on the coronavirus outbreak first identified in Wuhan, China.

A BHB spokesperson said: “BHB can confirm that even though the current threat to Bermuda residents is low, we are closely monitoring developments and are ready to respond should the threat increase.

“BHB has questions in its admission process that identifies anyone who has travelled to a place where there have been known infections and we are ensuring we have all necessary supplies.

“BHB has protocols in place as part of day-to-day running of the hospitals to minimise the spread of infectious diseases.  Measures include negative pressure rooms in the Emergency and the Acute Care Wing units that are checked daily, and infection prevention protocols such as using protective equipment and clothing.

“We also have plans in place that enable us to deal with outbreaks and epidemics that could be triggered if the mode of transmission changes and global infection rates continue to increase,” she added.

Dr Michael Ashton, BHB Chief of Medicine and Infectious Diseases Specialist, comments: “We are closely monitoring this novel coronavirus and continue to work closely with Government.

“BHB has detailed plans for dealing with outbreaks and epidemics, and we swiftly reviewed our admissions processes as a precaution.

“We would ask that people only come to the hospital Emergency Department if they truly have an emergency situation.

“If you are concerned that you may be infected, please call your family doctor or the Emergency department before you arrive – as people in the same waiting area could be otherwise put at risk.”