Stricter measures for those living with serious health conditions – Nottinghamshire Live

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Further advice is to be given to the 1.4 million people living with serious health conditions to stop them getting seriously ill from Covid-19.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the most vulnerable members of society will be told to carry out ‘stricter social distancing measures’ for a period of 12 weeks.

People undergoing treatment for cancer and others who form part of a group of around 1.4 million people will receive specific advice on what to do to keep themselves safe from coronavirus, reports the MEN.

At present, anyone with an underlying health condition such as those who usually receive an NHS flu jab, people with weakened immune systems and anyone over 70 is told to be “particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.”

But those who are at even higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19, including recipients of donor organs, those on active chemotherapy or radiotherapy, people with blood cancers and those with severe chest conditions will be given more tailored advice.

It is understood those in the ‘most at risk’ group will be given further advice before Monday via a text message or letter.

Mr Hancock told Sky News: “Many of these people have pre-existing health conditions and so will be very worried right now, and I understand that, and they’ll need very specific sets of action – for instance, how do you go about still getting your chemo if you have cancer whilst also social-distancing?

“If you have cancer it’s particularly important to stay away from other people, but you also of course have got to keep going with your chemotherapy.”

He added: “These are some of the most difficult and challenging cases so we’ll be getting in contact with them, but if people think that they are on this list and don’t receive a communication from the NHS, then they also need to get in contact.”

China

Mr Hancock said the Government is looking “very, very closely” at why there is a coronavirus hot spot in the West Midlands after it recorded the highest number of deaths outside London.

And he suggested tougher measures could be brought in if people do not follow the Government’s advice.

He told the BBC’s Breakfast programme: “What I can say is that if people follow the advice, stay home, which saves lives, and if they keep apart from others – more than two metres, more than six foot – then we can tackle this and we can turn the tide.

“The scientists advise that we can turn the tide in 12 weeks if people follow the advice. If people don’t follow the advice, then it’ll be longer and we might have to bring more and tougher measures.”

Mr Hancock said the UK had brought measures in earlier than Italy, which has now suffered more deaths than China.

“But we’re absolutely clear that, if we need to, we have the powers – in fact, we’ve got a Bill in front of Parliament now to strengthen those powers further,” he said.

“But I think it’s far better if people follow the advice.”

Mr Hancock said some retired medics who return to work in the NHS to fight the coronavirus will be able to come “straight back in.”

It comes as the NHS launched its “Your NHS needs you” campaign urging thousands of retired health professionals to come back to the front line.