Six residents at Brit care home diagnosed with killer coronavirus

Six residents at a British care home have been diagnosed with coronavirus .

Highgate Care Home in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, has now implemented "strict infection control measures".

Staff, residents and their families have been informed the six residents, believed to be elderly, were tested positive in the last few days.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and colleagues is of paramount importance," John Kirk, managing director of the care home, said.

"As such, we are committed to doing everything we can to keep them safe.

"We are working closely with all the relevant bodies, including NHS Lanarkshire and Health Protection Scotland, as we implement our comprehensive contingency plan, which includes closing the home to all but absolutely essential visitors, and continuing to take steps to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and infection control."

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It is unclear exactly how old the infected residents are but people aged over 70 will be asked in the coming weeks to self-isolate for up to four months, in order to protect them from Covid-19.

And professors say even visiting vulnerable people should be avoided unless you are absolutely convinced that your own health and hygiene are good enough.

But Dr John Logan, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, reassured families of those affected at Highgate Care Home.

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He said: "We appreciate this is a very worrying time for many people.

"Highgate Care Home has implemented infection prevention and control measures and the NHS Lanarkshire Health Protection Team will continue to provide advice and support to the care home manager and staff."

Since Health Secretary Matt Hancock's admission last night about the elderly, concerns for their welfare have been raised.

Many believe their self-isolation will lead to loneliness or depression.

But Professor William Keevil, professor of Environmental Healthcare at University of Southampton, said: "As of now, avoid visiting vulnerable people (very old or with serious heart disease and other morbidities, eg: diabetes) unless you are absolutely convinced about your health (no coughs or fever) and personal hygiene (washed hands, clean clothes and shoes, etc) being good enough; wash your hands immediately on arrival and avoid touching the person and your own face during the visit.

"The longer the stay the greater the potential risk to your host. Importantly, stay in contact with them by telephone, Skype etc to avoid them becoming lonely or depressed; perhaps treat them to a simple iPad type of device or similar and show them how to use it for Facetime or Skype visual calls with you.

"Make sure they are feeling well and receiving food and any medication they usually take.

"If the person receives regular visits from support workers, ensure they are able to continue attending regularly or if the health visitors become ill then be prepared to bring the food and medicines yourself."

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