Coronavirus / COVID-19

As healthcare professionals working in the Highcliffe and Christchurch area we have put together this page as a source or useful information about coronavirus and COVID-19.  The aim is to provide accurate information in an easy to read and understand format about the virus to help people in the local area with their questions and concerns.

For a list of help available in the Christchurch area available please CLICK HERE

We’re listing some common questions and answers which will expand over time along with some common sense advice.

We’re also here to answer your questions, there is a short form at the bottom of the page so you can send us your queries.  We’ll get back to you as quickly as possible and if we see the same question frequently add it to the site to help others with the same concerns.

Dr. Ravin Ramtohal, Dr Jemima Ramtohal & The Medical Extras Team

Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus

COVID-19 is a new illness that is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.

People who are ill with the virus may:

  • have a cough
  • have a high temperature
  • find it harder to breathe normally.

Most people who have the virus feel unwell but do not need to go to hospital.

People who have Coronavirus are usually better after 14 days.

For more information check

If any of the following apply:

  • you've got the symptoms of the virus
  • you've recently been to a country where lots of people have the virus
  • you've been close to someone who has been told they have the virus.

Do not go to your doctors if you think you have Coronavirus.

Do contact NHS 111 straight away. This will tell you what you need to do next.

You can do this online by visiting the NHS 111 online service.

They may tell you to stay and home and not be near other people for several days. This is called self-isolating.

If you or someone you live with has a high temperature or a cough you should stay at home.

The Government have said that if you live with friends and/or family you need to stay at home for 14 days.

If you live on your own, you still need to self-isolate, but you will only need to do this for 7 days.

It is important that we all do our best to stop the virus spreading.

The best way to do this is:

  • to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • to put any tissues you use in a bin
  • cough or sneeze into your sleeve instead of your hand, if you don't have a tissue
  • try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.

It is really important that you wash your hands carefully and regularly. You should do this after coughing or sneezing and before eating any food.

You should always wash your hands when you get home or into work.

The Government has also made some new guidelines to help stop Coronavirus from spreading. 

They have suggested that:

  • you wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • you always wash your hands when you get home or into work

  • you use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • you put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

  • you avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus

  • you only travel on public transport if you need to

  • you work from home, if you can

  • you avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas

  • you avoid events with large groups of people

  • you use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so use masks wisely.

You may be at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have another serious health condition

The NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. You'll be given specific advice about what to do.

While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. 

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. 

Doctors and nurses have told us that when washing your hands you should follow these steps:

  1. Wet your hands under warm running water
  2. Apply a small amount of soap
  3. Rub your hands together and make sure that the soap and water cover all over your hands
  4. Carefully wash your palms, the backs of your hands, your fingertips, thumbs, your wrists and nails
  5. Rinse your hands under running water
  6. Dry your hands thoroughly.

For the full details of the vulnerable shielding announced on 22/03/2020 here : Official Shielding Guidelines

You can apply for a test if you are:

  • an essential worker with coronavirus symptoms
  • aged 65 or over with coronavirus symptoms
  • someone who cannot work from home and has coronavirus symptoms (for example, construction workers or delivery drivers)

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can apply if they live with an essential worker, a person aged 65 or over, or someone who travels to work.

You can also apply for a test if you have a clinical referral from NHS 111 online.

Coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.


You can apply HERE

Submit Your Questions To The Medical Extras Team