UK Govt Urged to Ease Lockdown for Healthy Pensioners

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The Chinese coronavirus lockdown measures should be lifted for those over the age of 70 who are considered to be in good health, as the mental health implications are starting to outweigh the dangers of the virus, a group of medical professionals have informed Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Medical professionals at the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of GPs reportedly told Mr Johnson that any easing of the national lockdown measures should be determined on an individual basis “rather than an arbitrary age of 60 or 70”.

“A blanket ban on any section of the population being prohibited from lockdown easing would be discriminatory and unacceptable,” the BMA said, according to The Times.

The chairman of the Royal College of GPs, Martin Marshall, said that age should not determine “who should self-isolate and to what extent during the next stage of lockdown”.

“GPs are finding that many patients who are currently ‘shielding’ are expressing concern about their ability to continue extreme isolation for a long period, and this needs to be taken into account as plans for how the lockdown will continue are formulated,” he added.

Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the group of behavioural scientists advising the government on the lockdown, said that “the problem with lockdown is isolation; being cut off from people is bad for you psychologically and physically. It is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

“Human beings are social animals. Being connected is remarkably important not just for your mental health but for your physical health,” Reicher told The Telegraph.

Conservative peer Baroness Altmann said that the elderly will “rebel and risk prison” should they face a longer lockdown that the rest of the public.

“Of course it’s age discrimination, there’s no other way to look at it,” she said.

“The reality is more BAME people, sadly, are falling victim to this than others. But somehow it’s not OK to discriminate on grounds of gender or obesity or colour of skin, but everybody is saying let’s think about somehow discriminating on the basis of age,” the Baroness added.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in response to the reports, that the government will not be implementing a ‘blanket ban’ on those over 70 from leaving their homes, that the government will merely “strongly advise” them to do so.

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