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Wood C Infections without borders: a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Br J Nurs. 2020; 29:(3)166-167

COVID-19: protecting the medically vulnerable

25 June 2020
2 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 12

Economic globalisation and technological progress give numerous benefits in addition to some shortcomings of economic inequality and social instability. From an infectious disease perspective, globalisation exemplifies a world without borders (Wood, 2020). Indeed, this magnifies the necessity for international cooperation to enhance the ability to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The rapid global spread of COVID-19 is characterised as an ‘extraordinary time’, requiring the nations of the world to unite for the greater good. On a local and personal level, we too are being asked to work together for the benefit of others. Social isolation is advised not only for people's own good, but for the wider population, particularly for older people and those with health vulnerabilities.

From 24 March 2020 the UK Government advised ‘shielding’ as a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and for them to minimise all interaction with others (Public Health England (PHE), 2020a). The NHS in England contacted anyone in the group of extremely vulnerable people and advised them to stay at home and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day they received their letter. The Government also advised on social distancing measures (PHE, 2020b), which have now been superseded by staying alert advice (PHE, 2020c).

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