Five people are currently at Great Western Hospital with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, bosses at the NHS hospital have confirmed.

It comes as Swindon council and health organisations launch a new campaign aimed at halting the spread of the virus. The town was placed on Public Health England’s watchlist last Friday as an area of concern.

Public health officials have played down fears the town could be heading for a local lockdown of the type seen in Greater Manchester, where people have been stopped from meeting friends and family from other households in their homes or gardens.

The latest figures show 1,029 people have tested positive for coronavirus, including at least 50 since the end of last week.

There are a relatively low number of cases at GWH. Last night, the Marlborough Road hospital confirmed five patients were being treated for confirmed or suspected coronavirus.

GWH is supporting the council’s campaign. Medical director Dr Charlotte Forsyth said: “The number of Covid-19 patients we are currently seeing in hospital is thankfully much lower than it was but I would urge the public not to get complacent.

“We can all do our bit to help prevent the spread of infection and it is important that everybody follows the national guidance. This includes social distancing, the wearing of face masks or coverings in public areas and frequent hand washing. This is vital not only to protect yourself, but also to protect family, friends and the public around you.

“If you do show symptoms, you should get tested and must self-isolate immediately, to reduce your risk of spreading the virus.

“We all need to work together to control this virus. Here at the hospital, everyone is working very hard to continue looking after every patient that comes through our doors, but please help us by following the national guidance and staying safe.”