PARTS of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch have had to be quarantined because people are coming to the A&E saying they think have coronavirus.

A ward is also reportedly being used an isolation area to try to prevent coronavirus spreading in the community and around the country.

It comes as the UK has “no time to lose” in changing tactics in order to prevent thousands of deaths and the NHS being overwhelmed, scientists have said.

The Imperial College Covid-19 response team – which is one of several scientific teams advising ministers – published a paper showing that 250,000 people could die if efforts were focused only on delaying and slowing down the spread of Covid-19.

The paper analysed the most up-to-date data from Italy and the UK and concluded that the only “viable strategy” was a Chinese-style policy of “suppression” of the virus, elements of which have now been adopted in the UK.

It said: “In the UK, this conclusion has only been reached in the last few days, with the refinement of estimates of likely ICU (intensive care unit) demand due to Covid-19 based on experience in Italy and the UK (previous planning estimates assumed half the demand now estimated) and with the NHS providing increasing certainty around the limits of hospital surge capacity.

“We therefore conclude that epidemic suppression is the only viable strategy at the current time.”

A spokesman from Worcestershire CCGs and Trusts said: “As part of our planning we are looking at all options to ensure that we have the capacity to provide care to patients, including those who test positive for COVID-19 who require inpatient support.

"Clearly we would need to ensure those patients are segregated and we are looking at our current options to see how this could best be achieved.”

People who think they have coronavirus are being urged to not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital but stay at home.

If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after seven days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111.

For a medical emergency dial 999.