On the day the UK announced that 281 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, the government asks vulnerable people to self-isolate.
The government has today brought in new measures to protect the most vulnerable in society. The NHS has sent letters to the 1.5 million people who are most likely to be hospitalised by coronavirus to ask them to self-isolate.
The letters, which are expected to arrive from Tuesday, will be followed by text messages and calls to encourage as many people as possible to follow the new advice. They’ll also provide information on how people can access new support services to help them through their 12-week quarantine.
It’s been a hugely complex task to compile this list of the most vulnerable. It’s not based on age, but rather medical conditions. They’ve worked with NHS Digital, the Clinical Reference Group, the Trusts and the Medical Royal Colleges to do it. In a couple of weeks, if you haven’t been contacted and think you should, you’ll be able to raise the issue with your GP.
The question of how these people will survive in isolation has also been answered. The first thing you need to know is that carers and other people in the household will not be required to self-isolate. They will, however, be required to follow social distancing advice to the letter.
The government will also introduce a national network to help people in self-isolation get essential supplies. Local pharmacies will be delivering medicine, while councils will deliver food parcels, and the armed forces will offer logistical support. They’re working around the clock to get this scheme off the ground.
In the first instance, those parcels will be free, but in the long term, they may be able to tailor those services, at which point they may no longer be free, but will give people more freedom to choose. The deliveries will be contact-free, with parcels left on people’s doorsteps.
If you’re in one of the vulnerable groups, you can expect a letter within the next week. It will give you advice on what to do next and how to use the government’s new support services. It will also offer advice on looking after your medical health while you’re in isolation.