Families could be told to self-isolate together if just ONE of them has coronavirus Families could soon be told to self-isolate together if just one of them falls ill Prof John Edmunds warned elderly people are at greatest risk from loved ones He said parents should warn their own frail parents about the potential risk
Families could be told to self-isolate together if just ONE of them has coronavirus
- Families could soon be told to self-isolate together if just one of them falls ill
- Prof John Edmunds warned elderly people are at greatest risk from loved ones
- He said parents should warn their own frail parents about the potential risk
- The London School of Hygiene expert said people need to begin preparing
- Death rates from coronavirus are far higher than among the younger generation
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Entire families could soon be told to self-isolate together if just one of them has coronavirus.
The move is likely to come in the next two weeks and would mean parents in affected households would have to keep their children off school.
It comes as Britain’s over-70s will be told to stay at home for four months while the government goes on a war footing to firefight the coronavirus crisis.
Mass isolating of the elderly – even if they are not ill – will begin within the next 20 days as Boris Johnson ratchets up efforts to tackle the UK’s ballooning outbreak.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, the increased measures will also include telling families that they should remain at home together for 14 days if any member becomes ill. Until now, suspected coronavirus cases were told to self-isolate and simply avoid other people living in the same house as them if they had a persistent cough and a temperature of 37.8C (100F) or more.
It forms part of a wider package of emergency powers due to be officially rolled out by Downing Street this week.
The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) yesterday advised that the next interventions – shielding the vulnerable and household isolation – ‘will need to be instituted soon’.
Downing Street’s new raft of measures, which will be rubber stamped at a meeting chaired by the PM today, marks a screeching U-turn as only a few days ago the government flatly refused to follow European counterparts in curbing person-to-person contact.
Entire families could soon be told to self-isolate together if just one of them has coronavirus – putting any grandparents staying with them at greater risk. Pictured, commuters in London wearing face masks
Professor John Edmunds, pictured, has advised elderly people to be careful about the amount of contact they have with their grandchildren as they are the most likely people to transmit coronavirus to them
But families need to protect grandparents from their own grandchildren because people are most likely to contract coronavirus from their loved-ones, a world-renowned expert on infectious disease warns.In a stark message ahead of Mothering Sunday next weekend, Professor John Edmunds of the
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said it was wrong to assume that strangers pose the biggest risk of passing on the virus.
In order to shield the vulnerable, a ban could be placed on visits to nursing homes and the elderly may be ordered to stay indoors.
The move to self-isolate families together could prompt confusion however among those keen to stay away from their elderly relatives.
Professor John Edmunds warned: ‘You are most likely to get infected from your household members – and the next most risky bunch of people are your workmates.
‘So if you’ve got elderly parents who are frail, and you’ve got children, you need to tell your parents they need to be careful about their grandchildren… I know that sounds brutal and horrible, but that’s the kind of thing that people need to start to thinking about.’
He said: ‘I know that sounds brutal and horrible, but that’s the kind of thing that people need to start to thinking about’
Prof Edmunds stressed he was not saying older people should ‘lock themselves away’. Each family would need to come up with its own plan based on their circumstances. Death rates from coronavirus among elderly people are much higher than for the younger and middle-aged. Dr Margaret Harris from the World Health Organisation has also recommended older people keep 10ft away from others.
The Government has indicated it will be introducing further social distancing measures for older and vulnerable people, asking them to self-isolate regardless of symptoms. Ministers hope that if they time the measures correctly, those most at risk will emerge from their homes after herd immunity has built up and will be more protected.