Diamond Princess passengers leave NHS quarantine

32 people who had been in isolation at an NHS service in the north west of England have today left after being given an all clear for coronavirus.

The group, comprising 30 Britons and two Irish nationals returning from the Diamond Princess cruise liner, arrived at the Arrowe Park hospital in the Wirral in February and have been isolated while virus tests were carried out.

National and local NHS leaders praised the staff on site as well as the individuals who had been required to isolate there, for showing “how to deal with this virus”

All of the ship’s passengers at the NHS site have been able to leave and will now be able to get on with their lives.

Professor Keith Willett, NHS Strategic Incident Director for Coronavirus said: “Anyone who is worried about coronavirus should visit NHS 111 online to get advice and help, while the staff at Arrowe Park have yet again stepped up to deliver exceptional, professional compassionate care in difficult circumstances.

“The NHS is well placed to be able to deal with major challenges, but people everywhere can play their part too by washing their hands and taking sensible steps to contain the virus and protect themselves and their families.

“As more of us may need to self-isolate, either while waiting a test result or getting treatment at home, the guests and staff at Arrowe Park have shown exactly the sort of calm approach which is how to deal with this virus”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our NHS staff at Arrowe Park have done a fantastic job providing safe and comfortable care to the people in quarantine. No doubt the Diamond Princess passengers are very happy to return home to their friends and families now they have got the all clear, and I’d like to thank them for their cooperation in what could have been a stressful situation.

“Tackling coronavirus is a national effort, and they have set a good example for the rest of the public, as more people may need to self isolate themselves at home. Public safety is our top priority and we all have a part to play in containing the spread of the virus – the single most important thing we can all do is to regularly wash our hands for 20 seconds.”

Janelle Holmes, chief executive, Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “Following two weeks of quarantine, our guests have now left the accommodation facility at Arrowe Park and are not a risk to the public- I’d like to thank them for their cooperation.

“Staff across the Wirral have been working round the clock to ensure everyone who has stayed here has been well cared for and I am extremely grateful to them for their continued dedication and commitment.”