Care home ‘epidemic’ raises Covid-19 infection rate and are now the frontline of the fight against the virus
- The Covid-19 R-rate has increased due to the epidemic in care homes
- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab claimed the R-rate was in decline
- The government has been accused of ignoring the plight of the care sector
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The ‘epidemic’ in Britain’s care homes is so severe it has caused the national coronavirus infection rate to rise, officials said last night.
Care homes are now viewed as the front line in the virus fight and the R rate – the indicator of how many people each virus carrier infects – has increased despite the strict lockdown.
Office for National Statistics chief Sir Ian Diamond told yesterday’s Downing Street press conference: ‘That gives us a real challenge to reduce the epidemic in care homes and it’s one that I think – over the next few weeks – will happen.’ He added: ‘At the moment we need, certainly, to get on top of the epidemic in care homes and in hospitals.’
Sir Ian Diamond of the Office for National Statistics, pictured, said care homes were the new front line against Covid-19
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents many care home providers, hit out over ‘issues of competence’ in the Government’s handling of the pandemic. He said the strategy of focusing on saving the NHS meant elderly people in care homes were neglected, picture posed by model
John Edmunds, professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the Commons science and technology committee that the rate had risen in the past fortnight.
A couple of weeks ago he would have said the R-rate was up to 0.8. But because of infections in care homes and hospitals, the overall estimate stood at up to 1.0. Sir Ian commented: ‘That is driven by the epidemic in care homes.’ Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the R-rate was somewhere between 0.5 and 0.9. He said the latest figures show a decline in deaths in care homes in the past week.
Meanwhile, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents many care home providers, hit out over ‘issues of competence’ in the Government’s handling of the pandemic. He said the strategy of focusing on saving the NHS meant elderly people in care homes were neglected.