Recorder letters: Coronavirus and Alzheimer’s
PUBLISHED: 08:30 29 March 2020
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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
We are doing all we can to minimise effect of virus
Rokhsana Fiaz, mayor of Newham, writes:
I am sorry to report that Newham has its first confirmed case of Covid-19 (also known as coronavirus). Although we don’t have any more detail about this person or how they contracted the virus, I wanted to reassure you all that all of us at the council are working hard, alongside colleagues in the health profession, to do everything in our power to minimise the impact of the spread of this illness.
The news that the virus has officially reached us here in Newham is not unexpected, and even before today’s confirmation I can assure you that we have been working diligently behind the scenes to prepare for what we knew was inevitable.
On behalf of everyone at Newham Council I would like to take this opportunity to send our thoughts and good wishes to the person who has fallen ill. We hope they make a full and speedy recovery.
We are working very closely with colleagues in the National Health Service to support Public Health England and the national effort to prevent the transmission of coronavirus and delay its spread.
My thanks to our health partners who are working hard to support us all, but we can all do our bit to help by taking notice of and sharing the public health personal hygiene messages that can keep us, our families, and our community safe.
I would particularly ask Newham residents to think about how to avoid exposing the elderly and vulnerable to risk of infection. We all need to take responsibility for one another and that means doing everything we can to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
In addition to spreading the message about good hygiene and advice on keeping safe, the council has increased cleaning regimes across all our sites, including offices, libraries and community centres.
We continue to be in close contact with health partners to receive specialist advice so that all the relevant services are well-equipped and ready to respond.
We are also linking with faith and community groups to help them support their communities to stay safe and reduce risk of spreading infection.
The safety of residents is - and always will be – paramount.
All the latest and best advice on keeping well is available on our website newham.gov.uk. This will be kept up to date so keep checking back for any changes.
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Finally, following government advice here is a quick checklist of the best ways to stay safe and healthy.
l Wash your hands regularly but especially after coughing and sneezing
l Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping or blowing your nose - think Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!
l Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol rub. Please do this for more than 20 seconds
l don’t share cups, cutlery without washing them in detergent first
l If you display symptoms of the virus (like a new continuous cough and/or high temperature >37.8C) you should presume infection and self-isolate for seven days.
l Those who have had an exposure to a confirmed case, or returned from travel to affected areas should self-isolate for 14 days, whether they have symptoms or not. If your symptoms worsen, call 111 primary care out of hours, services will be available to provide support and advice.
We risk making this crisis into a catastrophe
Linda O’Sullivan, London area manager, Alzheimer’s Society, writes:
In the Spring budget Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave no mention of any spending increase for social care.
While the money outlined for NHS and local authorities to deal with coronavirus is good news, it’s astonishing funding for social care appears to have been completely ignored. This is crushing for people with dementia – including more than 78,600, in London.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign hears of people with dementia trapped in unacceptable conditions every day, of families struggling to cover the astronomical cost of dementia care.
Coronavirus risks making this crisis into a catastrophe.
There is no excuse. If we do not fix our broken social care system, the most vulnerable in our society will continue to bear the brunt.
Cross-party talks must produce a long term, sustainable solution for social careTo show your support, join our Fix Dementia Campaign now at alzheimers.org.uk/fix
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