Elderly will be told to stay inside and avoid mass gatherings at height of coronavirus crisis

ELDERLY Brits will be told to stay inside and avoid mass gatherings at the height of the coronavirus crisis, it emerged today.

Boris Johnson said the over 65s were "particularly vulnerable" and ministers were looking at specific guidance to make sure they don't catch the deadly bug.

The PM revealed even he was concerned about members of his family.

He told ITV's This Morning: "We are all worried… about both my parents. We all have to think about it."

Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, said "when this starts to run" older people may be told to go into self-isolation from "public environments".

He told MPs this morning: "We may make advice for older citizens to avoid crowded areas, which might include [Parliament]."

At the moment the Government's official advice contains nudges for Brits to check on elderly neighbours and relatives if they can.

Older people are far more vulnerable to getting seriously ill from the virus – and even dying.

Professor Whitty warned MPs mortality rates among the elderly across the world has been around "eight or nine percent".

It comes as:

  • The number of cases has jumped to 90 this morning
  • The release of the new James Bond film, 'No Time to Die' was delayed until November
  • The Department of Health confirmed around 17,000 people have so far been tested in the UK
  • Experts warned that up to one in five elderly people could die of the disease
  • Commons boss Jacob Rees-Mogg said it wasn't likely that Parliament would have be shut for months to stop politicians becoming 'super spreaders'

Jimmy Whitworth, of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said today: "We are in unchartered territory.

"The mortality rate in the over 80s is something like 20 per cent."

Last night bingo players at a Royal Legion club were ordered into quarantine after one caught the bug from a close relative.

Twenty-five have been told to self-isolate after the card-marker tested positive.

Public Health England notified bingo club bosses in Hindhead — only three miles from Haslemere, the centre of Surrey’s outbreak.

A bingo player from the club said: “Everyone who was at Tuesday’s night’s bingo draw has been told to go home and stay there for 14 days because one person who was here then has tested positive.

“Public Health England have refused to give out the name but we know that they are a member.”

Another option that could be considered to stop the spreads is to reduce visits to care-homes.

Targeted advice for older people on exactly the best ways to stay safe is set to come in the next few days.

Nursing homes in Sydney, Australia, and Seattle, USA, have suffered from outbreaks of the disease.

Italy too – which has a high ageing population – has suffered a serious widespread problem in the last few weeks, with the numbers of cases spiralling.

What you can do to help in the UK fight against coronavirus

  • Follow public health advice on handwashing regularly for at least 20 seconds
  • Reduce the impact and spread of misinformation by only relying on trusted sources like the NHS website, and Gov.UK
  • Check and follow the latest FCO travel advice when travelling and planning to travel
  • Ensure you and your family's vaccinations are up to date to reduce pressures on the NHS
  • Checking on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours
  • Using NHs 111, pharmacies and GPs responsible, and only go the hospital when you really need to
  • Being understanding of the pressures the health and social care systems may be under and receptive to changes
  • Accepting that the advice for managing the illness for most people will be self-isolating at home and over the counter medications
  • Checking for new advice as the situation changes

As it stands younger people are less likely to get the virus, with very few children affected.

But as the bug is still very new, it's not yet known whether kids are carrying and spreading the illness.

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