NHS worker ‘threatened with eviction by landlord scared he’ll catch coronavirus’

An NHS hospital worker said they have been threatened with eviction by a landlord who is scared he will catch coronavirus from tenants, a charity has said.

The worker is one of tens of thousands of renters who could lose their homes during the Covid-19 outbreak if the Government does not move quickly to protect them, Shelter warned.

It estimates more than 50,000 households could face eviction through the courts over the next six months, based on 2019 quarterly figures, but this number could increase.

The charity said an NHS hospital worker anonymously contacted its web chat service on March 11.

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When should you call NHS 111?

Those experiencing coronavirus symptoms, such as a cough or fever, should self-isolate for 14 days.

You should stay at home if you or or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough – even if it's mild.

  • Everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days and keep away from others
  • DO NOT go to your GP or hospital.
  • Go to NHS.UK to check your symptoms and follow the specialist medical advice.
  • Only call 111 if you can't get online, you feel like you can't cope at home, or your symptoms do not get better after the seven days.
  • If you are pregnant you should call 111 if you have any concerns about yourself or unborn baby during self-isolation.
  • Pregnant women are advised to contact their midwife, out-of-hours helplines or a maternity team who will provide information on whether you need to go to hospital.

The worker told the housing adviser their landlord was scared of contracting the virus from tenants and said "they've all got to go" unless a cure is found in weeks.

Shelter said it is receiving daily calls from renters who have been told they will need to leave because of the outbreak.

It wants the Government to amend legislation to halt all possession orders and bailiff warrants.

Earlier on Wednesday, Boris Johnson promised to protect private renters from eviction due to the spread of coronavirus by bringing in legislation.

But he said: "It is also important as we legislate that we do not simply pass on the problem, so we'll also be taking steps to protect other actors in the economy."

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Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, said: "Tens of thousands of renters face being turfed out of their home in the next six months if the Government fails to act quickly. We need a wholesale and complete halt to all evictions while the coronavirus crisis unfolds.

"Right now, there are people all over the country who don't know how they'll pay their rent this month, let alone the next three. People are panicked about how they will reduce contact or self-isolate if they lose their home.

"We're already hearing daily from terrified renters being threatened with eviction by irresponsible landlords, including vital NHS workers. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Is it safe to take ibuprofen for coronavirus symptoms?

The NHS has stopped advising coronavirus patients to take ibuprofen amid concerns the anti-inflammatory painkiller could only make things worse.

A statement read: "There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

"But until we have more information, take paracetamol to treat the symptoms of coronavirus, unless your doctor has told you paracetamol is not suitable for you.

"If you are already taking ibuprofen or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) on the advice of a doctor, do not stop taking it without checking first."

"The Government has stepped in to support mortgagees and it must now act decisively to help renters survive the current storm. It must legislate immediately to halt all eviction proceedings during this period of social disruption.

"This is an absolutely necessary emergency public health measure to keep people safe and in their homes."

There are more than 20 million renters in England, and nearly three-quarters are thought to have no savings, while 1.5 million households are headed by someone over 65, Shelter said.

Other concerned renters who contacted Shelter included a tenant who said they had been evicted without notice while on holiday in Italy.

They said the landlord was worried they would catch the virus.

Another renter's landlord has given them and another four tenants notice to end the tenancy due to Covid-19, Shelter said.

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