Sunday 29 March 2020 12:00 am

Coronavirus: Government sends food packages to the most vulnerable

The first food packages have been sent to those who were asked by the government to isolate for 12 weeks and shield themselves from coronavirus due to being particularly vulnerable.

The government has dispatched 2,000 food parcels already over this weekend to those who are unable to leave their homes because of severe health conditions that leave them most vulnerable to Covid-19.

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More parcels are to be delivered next week from wholesalers across the country, bringing the first set of deliveries to more than 50,000.

Hundreds of thousands of deliveries could be made each week depending on demand, the government said.

The packages contain essential food and household items such as pasta, fruit and tinned goods.

They are aimed particularly at those who do not have a support network that able to help.

Around 900,000 people classed as extremely vulnerable should have receive letters from the NHS this week with guidance on how to prevent contracting the virus.

In total 1.5m peple will be asked to shield themselves in this way.

Those who did not receive letters, but think they are part of this clinically vulnerable group, have been advised to contact their GP by the government.

“This weekend sees the start of extraordinary steps to support the most clinically vulnerable, while they shield from coronavirus,” said communities secretary Robert Jenrick.

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“We will support these people at this difficult time, and the scale of an operation like that has not been seen since the Second World War. 

“This is an unprecedented package of support and I want to thank the food suppliers, local councils and everyone who has come together to create this essential service in just a matter of days.”