Senior care homes across the United Kingdom have placed a ban on family visits in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus. Residents have at the same time been asked to remain indoors by the medical personnel to ensure that they will remain safe and sound.
Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, and chair of the Commons health and social committee had earlier this month told BBC Newsnight that he was surprised that some care homes were still allowing external visits from friends and family.
This came on the heels of a request made by the chair of Care Forum Wales, Mario Kreft. The forum currently represents around four hundred and fifty nursing and care homes. Mario asked families with seniors at care homes to try and stay away, as this would help save the lives of the people they care about.
A Call for Bureaucracy
Mario went on to state that it was time that the government considered cutting the red tape. By doing so, the government would ensure that seniors who were no longer in need of hospital care could end-up being transferred to care homes such as https://eastleighcarehomes.co.uk/. In the process, this would assist in freeing up hospital beds, which can be used to cater to COVID-19 patients.
He went on to state that:
“We need to do all that we can to make sure that everybody is safe, and I would advise any person thinking of visiting a loved one currently residing at a care facility to take time to think about it before making any visit. The reality is that such visits are likely to lead to accidental transmission of this virus to the seniors.”
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Current Coronavirus Research
Research conducted in China, which reported the first case of this virus in December 2019 shows that individuals above the age of 60 years have a higher chance of contracting it. From the statistics already available, people in this age group make up over 80 percent of the coronavirus deaths reported so far.
According to a study recently published by the Journal of American Medical Association, the mortality rate for people aged 80 years and above currently stands at 14.8%. Individuals between the ages of 70-79 have a mortality rate of 8%, while those between 60-69 years have a mortality rate of 3.6%.
Currently, there is divided opinion on the best techniques to employ to help safeguard the elderly. The chief medical adviser for the government has, however, stated that there is no need for pensioners to go into self-isolation at the moment.
On the other hand, Dr. Bharat Pankhania, a renowned doctor who has helped in devising communicable disease control action plans for the government and international community has stated that the government isn’t doing enough to help protect its citizens who are above the age of sixty years.
He went as far as requesting the government to put in place tighter restrictions, e.g., advising the elderly not to venture in public places, especially the crowded regions, as this could make it easier to transmit the virus, as has been seen in Italy and the United States. This applies to those in care homes and those still in their homes.
According to him, those in care homes should remain there, as there are fully trained personnel who can help them to remain safe and sound.