Bus drivers for the 83 British evacuees transported from China spent the entire journey with them without protective clothing.
Even though none of the evacuees suspected of carrying coronavirus have been confirmed infected, the virus is very contagious and they are all isolated in Arrowe Park Hospital for two weeks.
But the drivers spent hours with them in the vehicle without face masks. They even greeted the suspected patients with handshakes before their travel to the North West.
The men behind the wheels will also spend two weeks in isolation.
A spokesperson for Horseman Coaches said Government officials assured their staff that they didn’t need to wear protective clothing for the journey as the evacuees had already been quarantined for 8 days in China and allowed on board as they didn’t have any symptoms.
The drivers will not be quarantined but have been told to isolate themselves for 14 days. Their vehicles will also be disinfected before being allowed back into service.
However, there remains a possibility that evacuees, who include expats and holidaymakers, are infected with coronavirus as it can take up to 14 days or more for symptoms to appear.
According to reports, staff at the hospital were furious as they were not informed that the passengers would be quarantined there.
One nurse said to the Liverpool Echo: “Most staff heard it on the news first which is terrible, panic is the word I would use. At least warn your staff before the news. The Wirral population are worried also.”
Jane Godman also wrote on Twitter: “Decision to have a coronavirus quarantine centre at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral is bizarre.
“One of the busiest hospitals in the North West, with a maternity unit, in a built up area, 170 miles from where the Wuhan plane lands. Who decided this and why?”
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