The UK’s leading liver health charity is calling for the Government to reconsider ending all COVID-19 restrictions in England to protect the clinically vulnerable.
Many people living with liver conditions remain vulnerable to COVID-19. Those with advanced disease, those who are severely immunosuppressed or those who have had a transplant are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group. In addition, those who are immunocompromised are worried about how effective the vaccine will be at protecting them.
After months of shielding and isolation, liver disease patients had finally started to enjoy some normality. Now, with rising infection rates, many people with liver disease say that they’ve already started reducing that precious social contact they’d been waiting so long to regain. Some are even starting to shield again. There is a real concern regarding the announcement that face masks will become discretionary and they will have less protection.
Pamela Healy OBE, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: ‘If measures are completely relaxed further on 19th July, as the Government plans, many people with liver disease will feel let down, forgotten and that their freedom has been taken away. They will feel unsafe doing simple activities such as using public transport, going shopping or attending functions.
‘Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll do everything we can to support the needs of people in this clinically vulnerable group, and we’ll use our voice to encourage others to be considerate of those around them and continue to wear a face covering and to socially distance. You can’t always see a clinical vulnerability, so we need to think of others at all times.
‘We are also calling for the Government to reconsider this decision as cases are continuing to rise, and whilst for most people the virus may not be the deadly threat it once was, we should wait a short while before we lift all restrictions, for the sake of those who are more clinically vulnerable.’
People with a liver condition can get the latest updates and information on the charity’s website at Advice for liver patients including those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – British Liver Trust.
The charity also runs a free, nurse-led helpline on 0800 652 7330 from 10am–3pm, Monday–Friday.