Patients with underlying health conditions, including asthma and diabetes, have been instructed by the Government to take extreme measures to shield themselves from the coronavirus (Covid-19), starting this weekend.
Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said anyone over 70, pregnant women and people with certain underlying health conditions making them more vulnerable to serious Covid-19 complications, should isolate themselves for at least 12 weeks starting this weekend.
The Government has now published a list of the conditions affected, including severe illnesses such as patients undergoing cancer treatment, but also anyone who would normally be eligible for a free flu jab.
The specific at-risk patients are those with:
The Government also went on to list a group of patients who are at even greater risk, saying these will be contacted specially by the NHS with more stringent measures they should take. For now, they are told to ‘rigourously follow’ social distancing advice.
The groups most at risk are:
At yesterday’s daily coronavirus briefing, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said they hope the 12 weeks will cover the peak of the virus outbreak in the UK, but could end up lasting longer.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said people in at-risk group should shield themselves away from social contact, only leaving the house for exercise, during which they should keep their distance from others. If at all possible, they should have their essential items brought to them.
Social distancing measures the public is urged to undertake include working from home where possible; avoiding large gatherings, including in public venues; only engaging in essential contact; and entire households staying at home for two weeks if just one member displays symptoms such as a continuous cough or high temperature.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, health secretary Matt Hancock noted that these nationwide proposals are unprecedented in peacetime and urged people to look out for the vulnerable members of their community.
Patients advised to stay home for 12 weeks from this weekend
People at even greater risk:
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