Coronavirus - Oxford hospitals trust is chosen to be a UK Covid-19 'surge' centre
The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) has been chosen as one of the country's Covid-19 'surge' centres and is clearing the way to accept rising numbers of patients.
The trust's media office said it was unable to say how many patients with the virus are being cared for because of patient confidentiality.
However in a statement the OUH said: "Oxford University Hospitals is one of the designated surge centres in the UK. This means that we are one of a group of hospitals chosen to care for COVID-19 patients. We have experienced doctors, nurses, and other staff who are capable of dealing with this illness.
"Keeping our patients and staff safe is our number one priority and we have been following national guidance on the management and treatment of COVID-19 patients, as well as having robust systems and procedures in place around Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) when caring for them.
"We are taking ongoing actions to manage the situation, including most recently reducing our visiting hours and numbers to all of our hospitals."
As well as restricting visiting hours at all its four hospitals - the Horton General Hospital, Banbury, the JR, Churchill and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford - the OUH has cancelled all planned operations and routine outpatient appointments for adults and children, which will be reorganised in conference calls if possible.
In response to reports of bottles of hand sanitising gel being stolen from hospital bedsides at the Horton and JR, the spokesman said security staff have not received reports of thefts.
"However, to be robust, we have advised all of our wards and departments to store supplies securely," she said.