Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust has reassured patients that all services remain open as usual after patients have been spotted being tested for the coronavirus outside the A&E hospital buildings.

One person took to social media to express her shock after witnessing multiple patients being tested in the A&E car park at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich.

But health officials in Lewisham and Greenwich have reassured that all proper procedures are being followed, and no one else is at risk of contracting coronavirus following last week's news that a woman with the disease had turned up at hospital unannounced.

The unnamed patient, a Chinese woman, had arrived via an Uber at University Hospital Lewisham on Sunday, February 9, after falling ill.

She was later diagnosed with the coronavirus, marking the ninth patient with the virus in the UK, and the first in south London.

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In a statement today (February 17), Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust responded to media reports about the patient and speculation about the safety of the hospitals.

The trust stated it had ""followed our protocols to ensurer that patients did not come into contact with other visitors to the hospital."

"We have also followed Public Health England's advice for all staff who came into direct contact with the patient.

"Please be assured that if you have not been contacted by us you are not at risk from this case."

The two staff members from the hospital who had direct contact with the woman are currently in isolation under active surveillance at home as a precautionary 14-day measure.

Despite some being shocked at seeing suspected coronavirus carriers being tested in hospital car parks, the trust has said it is continuing to use dedicated areas assigned for testing outside A&E buildings whilst they await the installation of a purpose-built 'pod'.

Greenwich Council also stated that the UK is the first country outside China to have dedicated test centres for COVID-19, the official name of coronavirus.

As of 17 February, a total of 4,501 people have been tested in the UK, of which 4,492 have been confirmed negative and nine tested positive.

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The government has also introduced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China, and a team of public health experts has been stablished at Heathrow.