The Coronavirus-19 Pandemic is the greatest threat to Public Health that we have seen in our lifetimes. The Prime Minister has rightly described it as a National Emergency and the measures that have been introduced to tackle it are unprecedented. However, the scientific advice, based on the experience in other countries, is that these are essential if we are to slow the virus spreading and consequently to save lives.
The task of the Government is both to do all we can to safeguard the health of the nation and to sustain the economy so that employees and businesses can pick up and start again when it is over. The Government’s advice including details of all the help available to people and businesses is available through the Government web-site: www.gov.uk which is updated frequently throughout the day.
I am in regular touch with our local health services who are doing a magnificent job. Although currently the number of cases in Essex is relatively low, we know that it is likely to rise rapidly over the coming days and it is vital that we do all we can to support the NHS and its employees. Our local authorities are also working flat out to co-ordinate efforts and to make available more information on-line. In particular, Maldon District Council has produced a Community Pack with advice and contact numbers. This can be found through the District Council web-site: www.maldon.gov.uk and includes information about how to volunteer and how to register if you are elderly or vulnerable and in need of help. More information is also available through Essex County Council: www.essex.gov.uk
The next few months are going to be very hard on everybody. It is likely to be a long time before life returns to normal. However, already people are coming together to help each other. In Parliament, political differences have been set aside and we are working together in the national interest. Locally, neighbours and communities are rising to the challenge. If everybody follows the advice then we can get through this faster and hopefully at a lower cost of lives.
The latest NHS Covid-19 advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The latest Government Covid-19 advice and guidance: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Essex Welfare Service
Telephone number: 0300 303 9988
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 8am-7pm and Sat-Sun 10am-2pm
Essex County Council are co-ordinating volunteers throughout Essex, and a link to their website with all the information is https://www.essex.gov.uk/community-support Residents and businesses can volunteer on the website and their details are then passed to the group that is operating in their area.
Alternatively, a number of organisations in Maldon have come together to set up a response plan to assist people living in our district. Residents are able to register to volunteer via this link on the Maldon & District CVS website https://www.maldoncvs.org.uk/corona/ Alternatively they can call 01621 851997. This number can also be used by residents who may need support or help during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Telephone befriending services will face increased demand over the coming weeks, so they would also be grateful of any extra volunteers to make phone calls to people who may be socially isolated. A link to their website is https://essexbefriends.org.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/