Inmate at 'coronavirus prison' says panic has spread through jail on lockdown

A prison at the centre of another suspected coronavirus outbreak went into panic mode after an inmate collapsed in his cell.

An entire wing at HMP Bullingdon was put under quarantine when alleged drug-dealer Mark Rumble, 31, fell ill.

Panicked inmates tried to get out of their cells as an alarm went through the prison, warning them to stay in their cells, a source has claimed.

Guards then pushed letters through their cell door hatches telling them they would be confined for 72 hours.

A source said they were on the phone to an inmate in the quarantined wing when it started kicking off.

They told ‘When I was on the phone to him the alarm went off. People were kicking off trying to get out of their cells.

They really were not happy in there. They got a letter through the door saying they couldn’t come out because of it.

‘They got given a meal in a packet which they had to water to in their cell.’

The source claimed inmates demanded Rumble be checked for coronavirus before he collapsed, but were allegedly told ‘no it’s all rubbish’.

Rumble, who was extradited from Thailand to face drug charges, has been tested for the deadly disease and is currently being held in isolation at the prison, understands.

He was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, in November and is due to appear at Oxford Crown Court next week and is expected to plead not guilty.

A second inmate is being tested after developing flu-like symptoms in the prison and a third prisoner is also being monitored.

A nurse at the prison, near Bicester, Oxfordshire, who cared for Rumble has put herself into self-isolation at home.

It came as Steve Walsh, the businessman at the centre of a UK outbreak of coronavirus, thanked the NHS for his treatment and said he is ‘fully recovered’.

Mr Walsh, 53, from Hove in East Sussex – who is still in quarantine at St Thomas’ Hospital in London, picked up coronavirus while at a conference in Singapore.

On his way back to the UK, he stopped off for several days at a French ski chalet, where five Britons were subsequently infected with the virus.

He is also linked to at least five further cases of coronavirus in the UK, including the doctor working at the Brighton surgery.

A source said that the doctor, acting as a locum at County Oak Medical Centre, had only carried out one day of admin work there recently and had not had any direct contact with patients.

A second branch of the surgery also closed, but Brighton and Hove City Council confirmed they would reopen soon following ‘deep cleaning’.

Mr Walsh is also linked to one male patient who was taken ill in Majorca.

Speaking from hospital, Mr Walsh, a cub scout leader, said in a statement: ‘I would like to thank the NHS for their help and care – whilst I have fully recovered, my thoughts are with others who have contracted coronavirus.

‘As soon as I knew I had been exposed to a confirmed case of coronavirus, I contacted my GP, NHS 111 and Public Health England.

‘I was advised to attend an isolated room at hospital, despite showing no symptoms, and subsequently self-isolated at home as instructed.

‘When the diagnosis was confirmed I was sent to an isolation unit in hospital, where I remain, and, as a precaution, my family was also asked to isolate themselves.

‘I also thank friends, family and colleagues for their support during recent weeks and I ask the media to respect our privacy.’

A spokeswoman for the Scout Association said Mr Walsh had not been to any Scout meetings since his return to the UK, and wished him a quick recovery.

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