NHS will tell 1.4 million Britons to self-isolate from Monday: Vulnerable and those with underlying health problems will be told to stay at home due to coronavirus – as UK death toll hits 144

Around 1.4 million vulnerable people in Britain will be told to self-isolate on Monday amid the coronavirus outbreak, with the UK death toll hitting 144.

Speaking today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that Brits classed as vulnerable will be contacted by the NHS and told what specific actions they need to take. 

At present, anyone with an underlying health condition such as those who usually receive an NHS flu jab, people with weakened immune systems and anyone over 70 is told to be ‘particularly stringent in following social distancing measures’.

But those who are at even higher risk of severe illness from the virus, including recipients of donor organs, those on active chemotherapy or radiotherapy, people with blood cancers and those with severe chest conditions will now be given more tailored advice.

Mr Hancock told Sky News: ‘The first thing we’re going to do is set out exactly what conditions that applies to.

‘We expect about 1.4 million people to then get a communication from the NHS to say that they are part of this and what they need to do.

‘Many of these people have pre-existing health conditions and so will be very worried right now, and I understand that, and they’ll need very specific sets of action – for instance, how do you go about still getting your chemo if you have cancer whilst also social-distancing?

‘If you have cancer it’s particularly important to stay away from other people, but you also of course have got to keep going with your chemotherapy.’

He added: ‘These are some of the most difficult and challenging cases so we’ll be getting in contact with them, but if people think that they are on this list and don’t receive a communication from the NHS, then they also need to get in contact.

‘So that is under way, the money was announced for it yesterday. A combination of money to the NHS and money to councils because they’ve got a very big part to play in keeping people safe.’

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