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Covid rule changes leave clinically vulnerable as ‘collateral damage’, charities warn

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Leading charities have spoken out against the government’s scrapping of COVID-19 measures warning that clinically vulnerable people have been made “collateral damage for political considerations.”

Those representing thousands of clinically vulnerable people have warned the government’s decisions to scrap COVID-19 restrictions leaves people “marginalised” and warned there was a risk to 5-11 year old vulnerable children who are yet to be vaccinated.

The removal of COVID-19 restrictions next week will mean masks are no longer mandatory and the government will no longer ask people to work from home. Blood Cancer UK has called for the government to do more to support immunocompromised people such as giving them priority testing.

Alzheimer's Society has said it is too early to drop basic measures, such as mask wearing, which help protect vulnerable members of society.

Charlotte Augst, chief executive for the charity National Voices said clinically vulnerable people had now become “collateral damage in political considerations.”

She said: “The pandemic has obviously been difficult for everyone, but it’s been the most difficult for people who are vulnerable to the virus, and some of these people have never really come out of 22 months of lockdowns.

“There are obviously infection control measures that are harmful to society and lockdown is one of them - it causes harm. But there are some infection control measures which are not and which enable people to get on with their lives - wearing masks, improving ventilation.

“Why would we not do this? When we understood that dirty water caused illness, we cleaned up the water. It cannot be a political statement to say we should clean up the air this is just fact-based decision making, but the situation] has now become all about politics.

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Source: The Independent. 21 January 2022

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