Obese people aged over 50 could have to shield to stop the spread of coronavirus.
As part of new local lockdown measures, the government has a new three-tier system and tough rules may be announced on Monday.
Some details were leaked to press earlier in the week. They’re thought to be part of the plan to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the Midlands and across northern areas of England.
Boris Johnson will reportedly make the announcement after the weekend. It comes amid fears about the potential for a second wave of the deadly virus.
When the disease first hit, more than 2.2 million ‘medically vulnerable’ people self-isolated and stayed at home.
This included those with illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. It also included older people and those with other underlying health conditions.
But, as scientists have learned more about the virus, it appears that the new approach will be more targeted.
What could the new coronavirus measures include?
The new measures – which are so far just at proposal level – could take into account other risks. These include things such as whether the patient smokes, if they’re obese and past health problems.
The deputy chief medical officer has reportedly been working alongside health officials. They hope to develop algorithms to help assess the risk for patients.
But GPs are concerned about the last-minute nature of the proposal.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Professor Martin Marshall, the chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “It’s vital that, as soon as any decisions are made about reintroducing shielding, these are clearly communicated to GPs in the areas that are affected, along with clear guidance about the role they will play in implementation.
“GPs and our teams will likely be the first port of call for patients with queries about whether they should shield or not, and why, so it’s important that we are as informed as possible so that we can offer them appropriate advice and support.”
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