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‘People could be putting themselves at risk’ - Norfolk woman calls for clarity over coronavirus shielding

PUBLISHED: 06:46 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 06:46 10 April 2020

Ray and Tina Cleveland, from Gorleson, have laucnhed a petition for more claification over shielding. Picture: Tina Cleveland

Ray and Tina Cleveland, from Gorleson, have laucnhed a petition for more claification over shielding. Picture: Tina Cleveland

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A Norfolk woman fears people are putting their health at risk due to confusion over shielding amid coronavirus.

Tina Cleveland, from Gorleston, has called for more clarity on shielding letters and has launched a petition on change.org.

Her husband Ray, an engineer, has cold agglutinin and neuphrotic syndrome, and received a text message from the government instructing him to shield for 12 weeks on March 23.

But since then the 59-year-old, who has also suffered from pneumonia and repeated chest infections, has not received a letter he was told to expect and is unsure where he stands.

Mrs Cleveland, 52, said: “I contacted his consultants and the first secretary said he wasn’t on the shielding list, while the other said he should be. As far as we are concerned, with his condition, he is susceptible to coronavirus.

“He has been getting quite distressed and has been waiting for the letter to come every day and then becoming anxious and upset when it doesn’t arrive.”

Future employment and pay are other concerns for the couple.

Mrs Cleveland said: “A text message isn’t enough as far as an employer is concerned to assure the time off work paid and we don’t know if after this current lockdown period if he goes into work it will be dangerous or if he will be paid if he stays at home.”

This week she has started a petition for more clarity over the letters and has received responses from people who have had transplants or respiratory diseases, who have received no communication from the government.

She said: “I’m worried people are putting themselves and their health at risk. Although we have to bear in mind it is uncharted territory and I can understand it will take time for organisations to get their head around things. However, everybody does need to be given some clarity and understanding over the process.”

NHS England, who are identifying and writing to those who need to shield, has been contacted for comment.

For more information on the petition www.change.org/shieldingtextnoletter


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