Coronavirus: Relatives to be allowed to visit dying loved ones 'wherever possible'

2 months ago 1462

Families with loved ones dying with the coronavirus should be allowed to say a final goodbye to their relatives "wherever possible", the health secretary has said.

Matt Hancock announced new procedures so that "wherever possible" people will be given the "chance to say goodbye" to loved ones dying with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

He said "wanting to be with someone you love at the end of their life is one of the deepest human instincts", adding that he wept at reports of a 13-year-old body called Ismail dying without a parent at his bedside.

"I'm pleased to say that working with Public Health England, the care sector and many others, we are introducing new procedures so we can limit the risk of infection while wherever possible giving people's closest loved ones the chance to say goodbye," Mr Hancock said.

Meanwhile, fears are growing that hundreds of people are dying with coronavirus in care homes but not being included in daily government updates.

Britain's biggest care home operator, C-One, has revealed that two-thirds of its homes have been affected and more than 300 people have died in them.

Meanwhile, Care England said there have been thousands of cases and deaths in the homes it represents.

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Tests have now been pledged to all who need them in care homes - including staff and residents - with the Care Quality Commission charged with coordinating who will get them and when.

Currently the government's daily deaths update only includes patients who die after testing positive for the virus in hospital.

In its latest update on Wednesday, the Department of Health said another 761 patients with COVID-19 have died in UK hospitals, taking the total to 12,868.

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