OTLEY’S MP has spoken of his shock at being caught up in a coronavirus scare.

Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) found himself the focus of national media attention last Friday after discovering that he may have been in contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus.

The disease - named Covid-19 -is responsible to date for more than 1,860 deaths and some 72,436 infections, the vast majority of which have been in China where it originated.

Mr Sobel had attended a UK Bus Summit in Parliament on February 6 where one of the delegates tested positive for the virus shortly afterwards.

The MP has been in ‘self-isolation’, cancelling all official appointments, ever since and will remain so until the the two-week period of potential incubation ends on Thursday, February 20.

Reflecting on his experience, he said: “It was quite a shocking and worrying call to receive and I am grateful to the professionals who ensured that I had good advice during this time. Whilst the chances of me contracting coronavirus was low, I could not risk the safety of my constituents and therefore chose to cancel all of my constituency events as a precaution.

“The advice for anyone who thinks they may have been around someone who has tested positive for coronavirus is to call 111 and receive an assessment.

“I feel good and look forward to being back in action at the end of the week.”

Mr Sobel has received lots of good wishes including some from party-political rivals - with the Leeds North West Liberal Democrats tweeting: ‘We really hope that Alex Sobel is ok and the tests come back negative. Take care Alex’.

More than 200 people attended the summit and Public Health England sent a letter to everyone who went along to warn them of the situation. Consultant in health protection, Dr Yimmy Chow, said: “One of our main priorities has been to identify any people who we think have been in close contact with confirmed cases of Covid-19 to provide public health advice, as they may be at slightly increased risk of catching the virus.

“While the degree of contact delegates may have had with the case is unlikely to have been significant, we have taken a precautionary approach and informed them.”