20 March 2020
Source: Vision UK
Vision UK is following current guidance from the government on Coronavirus (COVID-19) based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a pandemic, a public health emergency of international concern. As of 9am on 19 March 2020, 64,621 people have been tested in the UK, of which 61,352 were confirmed negative and 3,269 were confirmed positive. As of 1pm 144 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.
We are aware that the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK to High.
Governmental Advice is that to aid everyone in the UK should avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to curb coronavirus.
The Prime Minister has said people should work from home where possible. Pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions should consider the advice “particularly important”.
The key new government measures are:
• Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
• Everyone should work from home if they can
• All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease
• People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
• By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”
• The UK is now “three weeks” behind Italy – the worst-hit country in Europe
• If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
• Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” – but they may leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”.
Based on this advice Vision UK is now moving meetings online, teleconference or rescheduling them.
Public Health England and others have produced useful guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and other organisations. This information is also reflected by public health leads in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Royal College of Ophthalmologists: update and resources for ophthalmologists
College of Optometrists Updates:
Local Government Association information for councils on COVID-19.
The LGA is liaising with Public Health England (PHE), the Department for Health and Social Care and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding the evolving situation with the outbreak of the coronavirus. Local authority Directors of Public Health are in close contact with PHE. https://www.local.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-councils
BASW A hub of information to support social workers on COVID 19
Members statements and information are also included in the News Section of the Vision UK website https://www.visionuk.org.uk/category/news/
The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines:
• The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
• Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
• To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
• Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people,