New help groups offering aid to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak are springing up on facebook -including one for Thanet and another for Kent.
The groups are in response to the growing number of cases as the virus spreads and the resultant panic buying which has stripped supermarket shelves.
Help is also being offered via pinned posts in facebook groups such as Broadstairs and New Thanet Chat and flyers have been printed off to deliver to those who may need help but do not use the internet.
Ramsgate resident Lewis Pindar, 29, has bought toilet rolls, pasta and washing up liquid and is asking for help to get supplies such as water, tinned and dry food, hygiene products, pet food and antibacterial wipes or spray so he can distribute them to older residents.
To donate items or let Lewis know about someone in need email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Shopping hour for older residents
Food Warehouse at Westwood Retail Park will open an hour earlier at 7am on Tuesday (March 17) with the first hour of shopping for pensioners only.
Store manager Casey Abbott, who made the decision, said: “This is only for OAPs and it will be at my discretion for them to come in. This will give them the chance to shop peacefully for one hour.”
J Prentis Westgate grocers is also offering ‘contactless delivery’. You can call, text or email they will put your order together and deliver it free of charge. Call 01843 834934.
The latest data released by the government for today (March 15) shows 40,279 people have been tested in the UK, of which 38,907 were confirmed negative and 1,372 were confirmed as positive. 35 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 have died. Updates by area have not yet been released for today.
The total for Kent still stands at 11 confirmed cases plus two more in Medway. Confirmed cases in Thanet include one at Birchington Vale, another in Westgate, and a parent of a Chatham & Clarendon grammar student. A suspected case in Margate has not been confirmed.
Many isle residents have also self-isolated with worries that cough symptoms may be related to the virus.
The government is expected to confirm new contingency plans next week which will include those 70 and over self-isolating for four months, the closure of pubs and restaurants, school closures and the forced requisitioning of hotels and other buildings as temporary hospitals.
Current government advice
- if you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, do not leave your home for 7 days from when your symptoms started (see ending isolation section for more information)
- this action will help protect others in your community while you are infectious
- plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure you can successfully stay at home
- ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
- stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible
- sleep alone, if possible
- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water
- stay away from vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible
- you do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999