Coronavirus patient being treated in Sheffield issues health update from quarantine

A coronavirus patient being treated at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital says he’s ‘doing absolutely fine’ and will be out ‘real soon’

By Robert Cumber
Monday, 2nd March 2020, 12:10 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd March 2020, 4:15 pm

Joel Rawlins is one of two people with the virus – known officially as Covid-19 – who have been quarantined within the hospital’s Specialist Infectious Diseases Unit since last Sunday, February 22.

The 26-year-old pianist, from Chesham, in Buckinghamshire, contracted the disease – which has so far infected 36 people in the UK – while working on the Diamond Princess cruise ship stationed off the coast of Japan.

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The Royal Hallamshire Hospital, in Sheffield, where 26-year-old Joel Rawlins is one of two coronavirus patients being treated within the Specialist Infectious Diseases Unit

He has now spoken publicly for the first time from his isolation room at the hospital, where he appears to be in a surprisingly upbeat mood.

Speaking to the Bucks Free Press, he said: “I don't want anyone to worry about me, I’m doing absolutely fine and will be out before you know it.”

Joel told how, following a repatriation flight to the UK he was taken to a quarantine facility in the Wirral where he spent one night before departing for the Royal Hallamshire where he has been since.

He praised the support he has received from family, friends and ‘incredible’ NHS staff since learning he had tested positive.

He told the Bucks Free Press he was feeling remarkably well.

“I don't feel ill. In fact, one of the nurses said to me the other day 'you're probably the well-est patient I’ve ever worked with' because I was very optimistic and was constantly walking around and making conversation and feeling fine,” he said.

And he described how he has spent much of his time at the hospital keeping in touch with friends via video calls, while also writing some music, watching Netflix and even ordering takeaway food to be delivered.

In a message to friends and family, he added: “Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It really means so much to me. I'll be out real soon and I can't wait to catch up with everyone.”

He also offered some reassurance, amid growing panic over the virus, saying: “There is no need to be scared. The virus isn't deadly. Just stay safe and keep washing your hands and report yourself if you show any symptoms.”