From 5th January 2021 the UK government has announced a full national lockdown in England. There are different restrictions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
With cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) rising rapidly across the country the government has announced stronger measures to control spread of the virus.
From Tuesday, 5th January a national lockdown was announced advising everybody to stay home.
A government statement read: “The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
“You should follow this guidance immediately. The law will be updated to reflect these new rules.”
Additional guidance for everyone who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable, including people living with diabetes, can be read here
Read the latest government guidance on the national lockdown and to stay at home here
If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past.
There are different restrictions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Download the NHS Covid-19 app
Remember, ‘Hands. Face. Space.’:
- Hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
- Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- Space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings).
For people living with diabetes previously published advice on protecting yourself from the virus is recommended
Whilst the safety measures have not changed and many of the previously recommended messages remain the same in this respect, we understand this may be a difficult time for many DRWF supporters living with diabetes and remind you we are always happy to hear from you and offer help and support where we can for any concerns you may have throughout this uncertain period.
Latest recommendations for people with diabetes
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable – including people under 70 with an underlying health condition, including diabetes, you could be at higher risk of more symptoms from coronavirus.
The latest guidelines recommendations for people in this category:
·should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others
·should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions.
Everyone is currently advised to work from home where possible. As a general principle, working from home reduces the chance of you being exposed to the virus.
If you need support to work at home or in the workplace you can apply for Access to Work. Access to Work will provide support for the disability-related extra costs of working that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide.
During the Covid-19 pandemic people with diabetes have had an additional health concern to consider – healthcare professionals advise you to look after yourself as best as you can as an additional safety measure against contracting the virus this winter.
As previously reported, almost one in three of all deaths from coronavirus among people in hospital in England during the Covid-19 pandemic have been associated with diabetes.
A follow-up NHS report confirmed that people living with diabetes are at a significantly increased risk if they get Covid-19 compared to people without the condition.
The news highlighted the importance for people with diabetes to self-isolate as much as possible in line with government Covid-19 lockdown guidelines.
Make yourself “winter-proof”
Ways people with diabetes can prepare for the winter season include:
·Have a flu jab if advised
·Be familiar with sick day rules – especially if prescribed to take metformin and if on ‘flozins’ – the flozin treatments (e.g. dapagliflozin) are a particular one to watch and stop taking if unwell, due to the risk of developing ketones which could progress to DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis)
·Ensuring you have working meters, enough ketone testing sticks and appropriate supply of medications, etc
·Good footcare and footwear
·Stay well hydrated, and take care if drinking alcohol (as excess amounts can cause dehydration)
·Seek advice early if unwell and ensure to have some skills in insulin dose adjustment where appropriate
Read 'Sick day rules' in the DRWF leaflet Managing diabetes when you are ill
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DRWF operations during the Covid-19 health crisis
The DRWF team is working remotely. Covid-19 guidance, particularly where it aligns or impacts with diabetes guidance, is shared as quickly as possible through the DRWF website and social media channels with the aim of making it as easy to understand as possible and a reliable source of latest news.