Social distancing must be in place ‘for a year’ to tackle coronavirus epidemic, government advisers say – The Sun

SOCIAL distancing needs to be in place for "at least most of a year", according to the government's top experts.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has published its guidance on Covid-19 today.

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Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: This is an incredibly fast-moving, developing situation and as part of our collective efforts to give the clearest and most reliable scientific advice, SAGE has and continues to draw upon a huge range of experts and a huge range of evidence.

"The UK is home to experts who are at the forefront of their chosen fields and we are making full use of their expertise to grow our understanding of Covid-19 as we work tirelessly to tackle this disease.

"The collective evidence we have published today has played a considerable role in shaping our recommendations on when, how and why the government have made the interventions it has so far."

More to self-isolate

It comes as around 1.4 million Brits are expected to be told to self-isolate on Monday due to coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that those who are classed as vulnerable will be contacted with the specific actions they need to take.

Experts say that older people and those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to the deadly bug, which has infected at least 3,269 in the UK.

The Government is urging people to social distance – including steering clear of pubs and restaurants – in order to stop the spread of the bug.

But pictures have shown boozed-up Brits spilling out of clubs and bars in recent days.

Mr Hancock told Sky News: "The first thing we're going to do is set out exactly what conditions that applies to.

We expect about 1.4 million people to then get a communication from the NHS to say that they are part of this and what they need to do

"We expect about 1.4 million people to then get a communication from the NHS to say that they are part of this and what they need to do.

"Many of these people have pre-existing health conditions and so will be very worried right now, and I understand that, and they'll need very specific sets of action. For instance, how do you go about still getting your chemo if you have cancer whilst also social-distancing?

"If you have cancer it's particularly important to stay away from other people, but you also of course have got to keep going with your chemotherapy."

It comes as:

  • Boris Johnson is set to unveil a wage boost and tax cuts for workers hit by crisis
  • Cases of Covid-19 across the world hit 10,000
  • A man became the first to be arrested in the UK for not self-isolating
  • Alarming images emerged from an Italian hospital where patients are treated with bubble helmets
  • China and other Asian countries are facing a second wave of deadly coronavirus
  • New test will be made available to hundreds of thousands of people ASAP
  • Brits STILL ignore calls to stay out of the pubs during the crisis
  • Health secretary Matt Hancock warns of second coronavirus hotspot in the Midlands


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Mr Hancock added: "These are some of the most difficult and challenging cases so we'll be getting in contact with them, but if people think that they are on this list and don't receive a communication from the NHS, then they also need to get in contact.

"So that is under way, the money was announced for it yesterday. A combination of money to the NHS and money to councils because they've got a very big part to play in keeping people safe."

It comes as an army of 65,000 retired nurses and doctors have been told “Your NHS Needs You” in the battle against coronavirus.

Medical students and trainee nurses are also being invited to join the fight — while members of the public have been asked if they can help, too.

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