Doctor Evicted After Landlady Feared He Would Bring Coronavirus Into Her Home

A doctor in England has called for more support for medical staff after his landlady refused to let him stay in his rented room over her fears he would expose her to the coronavirus.

On weekdays, Joseph Alsousou shuttles between the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the John Radcliffe Hospital in the city of Oxford. He stays in a house near the hospitals where he works because his family home is about three hours away in Wirral, Merseyside.

When he returned from a shift, his landlady told him she wanted him to leave, despite his insistence that she was at low risk, the BBC reported. "I went home because I had nowhere else to stay. I drove all the way back from Oxford to Wirral nearly in tears," he said.

I am at work for you so please #stayathome for me and the NHS. Although I was hurt last week by an act of unkindness, everyone has been so kind and supportive. Despite the difficulties and challenges we faced before, I never been prouder to be an #NHS doctor #StayAtHomeSaveLives

— Joseph Alsousou (@JosephAlsousou) March 24, 2020

He told the Oxford Mail: At a time of crisis the worst and best in people come out. Kicking NHS [National Health Service] workers out of their residence is not acceptable at a time when the country needs to stand behind the NHS. Measures need to be taken to stop this ever happening. On the other hand, most people have been very kind and supportive and I am sure they will continue to be so."

Speaking to Oxford Mail on condition of anonymity, his landlady told the paper that she was "under strong recommendation from her doctor not to share work surfaces."

"As we shared a kitchen and a bathroom it wasn't possible for him to remain in the house without it affecting my own health," she added.

Newsweek has contacted Alsousou for comment.

The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation sent a statement to Newsweek saying: "NHS England and NHS Improvement have established a process for hard working NHS staff to secure accommodation at hotels within their immediate area, if they have been affected by COVID-19 in some way."

As of Wednesday afternoon, the number of coronavirus cases in the U.K has grown to more than 8,300, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been 434 deaths and 140 recoveries.

Among the latest cases is Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, who is in self-isolation after testing positive. A Clarence House spokesperson said he had been "displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health."

The 71-year-old heir to the throne had arrived on Sunday at his Balmoral residence Scotland with his wife Camilla, 72, Duchess of Cornwall, and had been displaying symptoms over the weekend.

The Duchess of Cornwall has tested negative for the virus but is also self-isolating in their home in Scotland.

"It is not possible to ascertain from whom the prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks," Clarence House said in its statement.

The infographic below by Statista shows the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.K as of March 25.

Statista UK
This infographic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.K. as of March 24. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)Hygiene advice

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Medical advice

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  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

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  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
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