A general view of the QEII centre (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Coronavirus-sufferer 'went to UK conference attended by 250 including Tory Lord'


A woman infected with coronavirus attended a bus conference in London that had more than 250 delegates.

Among those speaking in the QEII centre in Westminster on February 6 was Boris Johnson's buses minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton.

Less than three days after the conference the woman, a Chinese national, fell ill and took an Uber to University Hospital Lewisham.

She is now in isolation at St Thomas' hospital near London Bridge.

Her presence in central London at a packed conference will spark fears among the hundreds of people there from the transport industry amid growing public anxiety about the spread of the deadly bug, which has infected 64,441 people worldwide and killed 1,383.

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Baroness Vere of Norbiton was the key speaker at the conference (Image: Daily Record)

It is not known how the woman travelled to the conference centre, which is roughly 100 yards from Westminster Underground station.

Experts have warned Covid-19 could spread rapidly on the London Underground system.

The summit's speakers included Baroness Vere, who posed with an all-electric bus outside the centre, as well as David Brown, Chief Executive of bus company Go-Ahead, Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood and Gareth Powell, head of Transport for London's bus network.

All attendees at the UK Bus Summit have been emailed warning them that someone at the summit had coronavirus, according to the Financial Times.
A woman wearing a face mask on the London Underground (Image: PA)

Attached was a letter from Public Health England (PHE) telling anyone who develops flu-like symptoms to self-isolate

Two healthcare workers who came into contact with the Chinese woman at Lewisham Hospital have been told to self-isolate and the taxi driver's account has been temporarily suspended.

The Chinese patient was the first case in London .

A coronavirus expert has warned the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories could lead to more cases in the UK.

Professor Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia's (UEA) Norwich Medical School, said fake news leads to bad advice and people taking "greater risks" during health crises.

It comes as Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said on Thursday that many more people in the UK may need to self-isolate to contain the illness.
Nine cases of coronavirus - now known as COVID-19 - have hit the UK so far (Image: PA)

More than 80 people quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral were allowed to leave following 14 days in isolation, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirming they pose "no risk to the public".

Professor Hunter, who has previously run tests on the impact of fake news on disease outbreaks with colleague Julii Brainard, said speculation was already rife online about the origin of the virus and how it can be spread.

He said: "Misinformation means that bad advice can circulate very quickly - and it can change human behaviour to take greater risks."

He added: "Examples of risky behaviour during infectious disease outbreaks include not washing hands, sharing food with ill people, not disinfecting potentially contaminated surfaces, and failing to self-isolate.
Isolation Pods installed at Dorset County Hospital for patients suspected of having coronavirus (Image: Getty Images)

"Worryingly, people are more likely to share bad advice on social media, than good advice from trusted sources such as the NHS, Public Health England or the World Health Organisation."

Earlier on Thursday, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said officials were working on delaying the spread of coronavirus cases throughout the UK.

He said what happens with coronavirus could go one of two ways, with the first scenario seeing the Chinese government getting on top of the epidemic and then a limited impact on the rest of the world.

The Department of Health said on Thursday that 2,521 people in the UK have been tested, of whom 2,512 were confirmed negative and nine positive.

A total of 44 more people on quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess in Japan have tested positive for Covid-19 disease. Two of those are Britons, taking the number of Britons on the ship diagnosed with coronavirus to three.

Japan also confirmed its first death from the virus on Thursday.