NHS cyber-attack: Patients asked to use services 'wisely'

The ransomeware, which locked files and demanded payment to allow access, has infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: May 16, 2017, 16:11 PM IST
NHS cyber-attack: Patients asked to use services 'wisely'

New Delhi: A computer virus known as 'Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry' that hit the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Scotland last week has forced British hospitals to turn away patients and affected tens of thousands of organisations.

The ransomeware, which locked files and demanded payment to allow access, has infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday, BBC reported.

Patients have been urged to use the NHS 'wisely' as the impact of the attack still persists, while also asking them to turn up for appointments, unless advised otherwise.

It is said that seven trusts out of 47 that were hit are still facing serious issues.

In England, 47 trusts reported problems at hospitals and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected, added the BBC report.

Urging people to be patient with the staff due to the impact of the Friday's global cyber attack, Anne Rainsberry, NHS incident director, said pathology services were the most seriously affected, alongside imaging services, such as MRI and CT scans, and X-rays, which transmit images via computers.

Reports also suggest that now there are fears that some NHS files may not have been backed up.

Some hospitals were compelled to cancel treatments and appointments, and divert ambulances to other sites as authoroties try to deal with the situation.

Meanhwile computing giant Microsoft said 'the governments of the world should treat this cyber attack as a wake-up call'.

The ransomeware spread to 150 countries, including Spain, Russia, and the United States.