A Herefordshire doctor says he has learned of cases likely to be coronavirus in the community he serves.

But Dr Simon Lennane, who is a GP at the Alton Street Surgery in Ross-on-Wye, will not be treating patients for the illness.

He said: “There is no specific treatment, so we advise to self-isolate, keep drinking plenty of fluids, and to use paracetamol to bring a temperature down. Current advice is to isolate for seven days.

“There is no need to see a medical professional if you have coronavirus infection. We don’t have a specific treatment that will help, and medical staff have been asked to keep away as much as possible from patients who are infectious. This is to protect our other patients and staff, to enable us to deal with all our usual work, including repeat prescriptions.”

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Dr Lennane also revealed that his surgery has decided to suspend almost all of its routine work until they have an idea of what impact the virus will have over the next week or two. Almost all surgeries are doing the same thing, he added.

“As such we won’t be offering smears, blood pressure checks, routine blood tests for cholesterol, diabetes etcetera.”

He said the decision was made to protect both patients and surgery staff.

Written medication requests are also being suspended, with patients urged to request repeat medicines online or by emailing the surgery.

Dr Lennane said a fever of 37.8C or above and/or a continuous cough is likely to represent Covid-19.

In a social media post aimed at patients, he asked them to use the online advice service at https://111.nhs.uk where possible, and delay routine enquiries to the surgery until the coronavirus situation eases.

“We are expecting significant levels of staff illness and will try to provide as good a service as possible, but please bear with us. We recognise that care for a while is not going to be as good as we would normally aspire to, but it will be the best that we can do.”

“We will continue to do blood tests to check on safety of any medicines that may impact on the immune system, such as methotrexate, and pre-chemo bloods.

“Thankfully, it does not seem as though people with lowered immune systems due to chemotherapy or immunosuppressant drugs are experiencing more severe illness, which is reassuring (and different to most viral infections). These people should still keep away from potential sources of infection.”

Dr Lennane said his surgery was currently working closely with the Pendeen Surgery in Kent Street, Ross-on-Wye.