Coronavirus in Haringey: Residents must follow NHS advice as council supports vulnerable, says public health chief
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:14 18 March 2020
Haringey Council is responding to coronavirus by supporting vulnerable people without statutory social care, says its director of public health.
There are currently 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Haringey, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.
Amid the escalating number of people contracting COVID-19, Dr Will Maimaris said the council is focusing on the borough’s isolated and vulnerable residents, and is continuing to prioritise its social care programmes while also working with grassroots community groups.
Haringey’s director of public health said: “There is a wider group of vulnerable people who don’t have our statutory social care services and we are really focusing on how we identify those people – for example the homeless and people who use hard drugs and alcohol – to make sure they’re protected and supported if they have to self-isolate.
“Also, if older people have to stay in their own homes for longer periods, we are working with those communities to make sure those people are getting food and medicine, and safeguarding people’s health and wellbeing if they have to self-isolate for long periods.”
Dr Maimaris urged Haringey residents to follow NHS advice at all times.
Echoing the prime minister’s guidance from Monday (March 16), he said people should avoid large events, work from home where possible, only travel on public transport if essential, and avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of the virus.
Dr Maimaris also placed extra emphasis on the elderly needing to follow these guidelines, such as handwashing for 20 seconds and contacting health services by phone, rather than in person.
He said the council could not combat coronavirus alone, but that the town hall instead acted as a lead figure in the borough’s broader community response.
“It’s about mobilising different networks,” he said.
“It’s not about the council doing everything, it is about us being part of a wider community response.”
He added: “We are already seeing that community kindness in Haringey with lots of different resident groups popping up and saying: ‘How can we help?’
“The council wants to work with that surge of community spirit and support it.”
For advice on coronavirus visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.