Two British police stations were placed under quarantine after a Chinese person was arrested – then said he had ”FLU-like” symptoms.
The stations in Patchway and Trinity Road in Bristol were temporarily closed from 7pm till midnight on Wednesday.
A Chinese person was brought to the custody unit in Patchway and started showing flu-like symptoms, a spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said.
Officers had concerns the detainee may have had contact with people who had travelled from the Chinese Wuhan area – where coronavirus originated.
One member of the public who visited Trinity Road was forced to stay there – but was cheered up by cops buying them a Domino’s PIZZA.
The spokesman said: “At just before 7pm on January 22, staff at the custody unit at Patchway Police Centre became aware of a detainee displaying flu-like symptoms.
“There were initial concerns that the detainee, a Chinese national, may have had contact with people who had recently travelled from the Wuhan area of China.
“Following precautionary advice from the NHS and health practitioners, Patchway Police Centre was temporarily closed along with Trinity Road Police Station in Bristol, where officers involved in the arrest had travelled to.
“As well as the officers and members of police staff, there was one member of the public at Trinity Road Police Station, who was asked to remain in the building as a precaution while we sought further advice.
“Following expert advice from Public Health England, it was established this was not a case of the much-publicised novel coronavirus and both stations were fully re-opened at just after midnight.
“The detainee has been given the appropriate medical attention and remains in custody at this time.”
He added: “We’d like to assure our communities there is no risk to the public.”
A member of the public who attended Trinity Road police station to provide a witness statement told of how he was ordered to remain while the station was ‘under quarantine’.
He said: “After I gave the statement I went to the toilet, when I came out I was told ‘we have some bad news’.
“They told me to stay after a Chinese national had been arrested at Patchway and the officers had come to Trinity.
“The stations were under quarantine.”
He added: “I was well looked after – the officers even managed to get a Dominos ordered.”
Risk of the virus in the UK has recently been upgraded from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ by Public Health England.
The unknown virus causes cold-like symptoms including a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and a fever.
So far, in Wuhan, the virus has killed 17 people.
Related – Passengers arriving at Heathrow from coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China said little had been done to screen them