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Safety of our elderly ‘must be top priority’

THE FERMANAGH public has been urged to be very sensible and highly vigilant when it comes to visiting elderly relatives for the foreseeable future, as the coronavirus spreads across the country. 
While the virus is not currently in Fermanagh, that we are aware of, medical experts have advised the public to take measures to ensure it does not spread locally, particularly to older people who are more susceptible to it. 
Many of us, including Cllr Diana Armstrong, have loved ones who are residents of nursing homes. Doctors have warned we must be particularly cautious not to spread the virus to residents when visiting. 
Cllr Armstrong urged everyone to follow the public health guidelines regarding proper hygiene at all times, and to be even more stringent when visiting a nursing home.
“I do have a relative in a nursing home, and it gives them an awful lot of pleasure to see people” said Cllr Armstrong. “However we have to be very mindful not to carry any of the symptoms of a general cold or if you are unwell, because older people have weakened immune systems and would be more prone to infection. If coronavirus got into a home it would be very worrying.”
She added: “While you want to be tactile with people, I think we have to be very careful. Make sure you have very clean hands.”
Cllr Armstrong said the home she visited regular had prominent notices up reminding people of how to prevent the spread of the virus, and the home had made hand sanitisers widely available. 
Noting that many people may not think the virus would be very serious if they caught it, Cllr Armstrong pointed out it could be devastating for some in our community, and we all had a duty to prevent its spread for the good of everyone. 
“Careful, controlled behaviour on our part will go a long way to ensuring that those who are vulnerable, such as the elderly, are protected,” she said. “While we’re more resilient there are people we are in daily contact with who are not. We all have a responsibility to practice really good hygiene. 
“If you feel unwell do not go out, ring your GP, stay at home, and follow the advice from your GP.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA