One in 25 people in England on shielding list for Covid-19

One in 25 people in England are currently on the Covid-19 “extremely vulnerable” shielding list, new figures show.

Data from NHS Digital shows that 4% of the population in England, or 2,213,950 people, have been verified by GPs and hospitals as suffering from conditions that mean they should be fully hidden from exposure to coronavirus.

Those on the list are being told to stay at home at all times and avoid face-to-face contact.

The Government is currently advising people on the list to stay at home until the end of June, though this is being reviewed and may be extended.

Of the people on the list identified by NHS Digital, 1,172,799 are female and 1,041,099 are male.

Some 92,633 are under the age of 18, while 1,169,220 are aged from 18 to 69.

A further 952,027 people are aged 70 and over.

The North East has the highest number of patients on the shielded list, with 391,980, while the South West has the lowest with 217,025.

When it comes to children under the age of 18, London has the highest number with 18,685 on the list.

Doctors have said those on the shielded list are at greatest risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19 and should have been sent a letter or received a call from their GP about their risk.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people include those who have had an organ transplant, people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy and those with lung cancer undergoing radical radiotherapy.

People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of their treatment are also included, as are those with cancer who are having immunotherapy or other targeted treatments.

Patients who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs, should also not leave their homes, alongside those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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