THE Welsh Government is contacting people across the country who have been identified as being at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Each person will be given specific advice about how they can protect themselves, based on their individual medical history and health needs.

The letters, which are currently being sent out, will include clear advice to stay at home for 12 weeks, and will list the medical, practical and emotional support available.

Wales’ 22 local authorities and the Welsh Government have been working closely with the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) to ensure everyone who receives the letter and needs support will be able to access it in their local community.

A Welsh Government statement said: “The letter will reassure people their ongoing medical needs will continue to be met. It also contains information about how people can manage their existing health condition while staying at home and avoiding close contact with other people. It includes advice about getting prescriptions delivered and accessing support for daily living.

“People in Wales who live with certain, long-term health conditions are at a much greater risk of developing serious complications if they are exposed to coronavirus.

“This includes, for example, those who have received organ transplants, and those who are living with cystic fibrosis and some types of cancers of the blood or bone marrow.

“Some people – but not all – who are receiving certain types of drug treatments, including those which suppress the immune system, are also in this group of very vulnerable people.”

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “This is very worrying time for people with existing health issues.

“We are directly contacting everyone in Wales who is at risk of developing a serious illness from coronavirus to provide clear and tailored advice about how you can best protect yourselves.

“We are doing everything possible to keep you safe during this outbreak. But we need your help.

“If you receive a letter, it is really important you follow the guidance to stay safe and well. Don’t leave your home, or invite anyone into your home, unless it is absolutely vital.

“The public’s support in this effort is crucial. It’s really important everyone follows the guidance about staying at home and social distancing, even if they are normally fit and well and don’t feel at risk.

“Thousands of people in Wales have serious health issues which makes coronavirus particularly risky for them – everyone can do their bit to reduce the spread of the virus.”

The guidance for people at the highest risk is:

  • Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • Do not leave your house for at least 12 weeks unless it is absolutely vital
  • Visits from carers or healthcare workers, who would normally come and help with your daily needs or social care, will be able to carry on as normal
  • Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example family homes, weddings, parties and religious services
  • Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel. Food or medication deliveries should be left at the door to minimise contact
  • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP practice or other essential services as and when you need