UK announces new procedures to give families ‘right to say goodbye’ to loved ones dying of Covid-19

The UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock today announced new procedures to allow families the “right to say goodbye” to a loved one terminally ill with coronavirus (Covid-19).

AT today’s briefing, Hancock said that he wants to ensure that relatives “wherever possible” can get the chance to say goodbye to loved ones dying with Covid-19, releasing them from their obligation to stay away from them before they die. During the remote Downing Street briefing, Hancock admitted that the death of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab who died of Covid-19 alone, had a huge impact on him.

“I’ve been really moved and upset by some of the heartbreaking stories of people dying without a loved one nearby. As a father of a 13-year-old myself, the reports of Ismail, dying aged 13, without a parent at his bedside made me weep,” stated Hancock. “And the site of his coffin being lowered into a grave without his family present was too awful.”

Wanting to be with someone you love at the end of their life “is one of the deepest human instincts,” he added. “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.”

He also announced a new action plan for care homes to address the growing crisis in residencies for the elderly, of which around 2,000 have already seen an outbreak of the virus.

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Written by

Pepi Sappal

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