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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LONDON — UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has unveiled pilot schemes aimed at supporting people required to self-isolate.
The initiative is one of several being trialed by the government in nine areas across England with higher coronavirus (COVID-19) rates.
In partnership with local authorities, the government is backing the pilots with 12 million pounds (nearly $17 million), which will be used for a range of initiatives including providing alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households, social care support such as increasing existing social care support for vulnerable adults and providing ‘buddying’ services for people whose mental health has been affected by lockdown and the variant outbreaks, and language communications support for individuals where English isn’t their first language, the government said in a press statement.
These pilots are designed to encourage people most at risk of catching and transmitting COVID-19 to come forward for testing and to self-isolate successfully if they test positive.
The areas that will receive funding for these pilots are Newham; Yorkshire and Humber; Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen, Blackpool; Greater Manchester; Cheshire and Merseyside; Royal Borough of Kingston; Hackney; Peterborough, Fenland and South Holland, and Somerset.
Commenting on the initiative, Hancock said: “From the very beginning of this global pandemic, the British public have made tremendous sacrifices and played their part whenever they’re asked — social distancing, self-isolating, getting tested and now finally, getting the jab.”
“Variants have the potential to be a Trojan horse for our hard-won progress and it is more vital than ever that we do what we can to show them the exit door, following the rules and self-isolating when asked.”
The UK health secretary added: “We recognize just how challenging self-isolation is for many people and these pilots will help us find the best ways to support people and making it easier for everyone to keep doing their bit.”
Dr. Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We are doing everything we can to send this virus into retreat and stifle the spread of new variants, and at the heart of this effort is our collaboration with local authorities.”
“COVID-19 is a global disease but it requires local solutions as well as national ones, and I am hugely grateful for the efforts of the local authorities that are going to be involved with these pilots,” he added. — Agencies
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