‘Many in our community are sick’: Jewish medical workers deliver urgent warning
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‘Many in our community are sick’: Jewish medical workers deliver urgent warning

An open letter, signed by more than 20 health care workers on the frontline of the virus, urges the public to 'stay home' and practise social distancing to save lives

Some of the signatories: Dr Michelle Jacobs, Professor Liz Lightstone, the public health consultant Fiona Sim, Emily Simon GP, Dr Sharon Raymond and Dr Toni Hazell GP
Some of the signatories: Dr Michelle Jacobs, Professor Liz Lightstone, the public health consultant Fiona Sim, Emily Simon GP, Dr Sharon Raymond and Dr Toni Hazell GP

A letter signed by more than 20 Jewish medical professionals urges members of the community to stay at home and avoid crammed shops during the pandemic.

The warning came as the death toll reached 55 among UK Jews as of Tuesday, accounting for 2.3 percent of national numbers, according to data collated by the Board of Deputies on Wednesday.

The letter, signed exclusively by women, most of them on the frontline of the crisis, warns the virus is “spreading fast” and that “many in our community are sick, and some have lost their lives.”

Dr Sharon Raymond, a GP and lead in unscheduled care, who initiated the message, told Jewish News on Wednesday: “I drafted this letter as I realised there was an urgent need for a letter to the public to be signed by medical colleagues.

“The community and the public at large need to be aware of the possible range of symptoms of covid-19, how to limit spread of the virus, including avoiding crowded local shops, and how to self isolate. We need to follow the guidance to stop this virus spreading.”

The message, widely circulated on WhatsApp, cites a loss of taste and smell, headaches, feeling weak, chills as well as a cough and fever among some of the possible symptoms of the virus.

Anyone self-isolating should remain at home for at least a week from day one of showing symptoms or until being symptom-free. All those living with anyone self-isolating should stay at home for at least 14 days.

Members of the public should keep two metres away from each other and avoid crammed shops, wash regularly and refrain from visiting friends’ houses.

*Read the letter in full*

Urgent message for the community

This is an emergency.

Many in our community are sick, and some have lost their lives. The virus is spreading fast.

Please keep to NHS guidance on self isolation. Don’t leave home at all for at least seven days from day one of your symptoms, or until symptom free, whichever is latest, and all members of your household must stay at home for a minimum of 14 days, or you will be spreading virus.

If you are well, keep to social distancing rules, keeping two metres away from others and avoiding crammed shops, otherwise this will lead to further spread of the virus.

This is about saving lives. Symptoms can include any of the following : cough, fever (but not always), loss of taste and smell, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, aches, weakness, chills, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, blocked nose, sore eyes.

Ensure you wash your hands regularly, don’t visit friends’ houses, and don’t congregate in groups. All shops should introduce strict social distancing rules.

For NHS medical advice please see www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Stay home to save lives.

Signed:

Dr Sharon Raymond, GP and lead in unscheduled care
Prof Liz Lightstone, consultant nephrologist
Dr Toni Hazell, GP
Prof Fiona Sim OBE, public health consultant 
Dr Nicola Rosenfelder, consultant oncologist,
Dr Vicky Sweiry, GP,
Dr Jane Hoddes, consultant paediatrician,
Dr Charlotte Benjamin, GP, Chair Barnet CCG,
Dr Debbie Dresler, GP,
Dr Michelle Jacobs, consultant in paediatric/ adult emergency medicine,
Dr Emily Simon, GP,
Dr Tammy Nisner, GP,
Dr Jenny Noimark, GP,
Dr Sharon Taylor, child psychiatrist,
Dr Emma Teper, consultant old age psychiatrist,
Dr Vivienne Gould, consultant old age psychiatrist,
Dr Tessa Davis, paediatric emergency medicine consultant,
Dr Ilana Samson, consultant acute medicine,
Dr Charlotte Pratt, consultant geriatrician,
Dr Joanna Rees, GP;
Dr Jacqueline Marshall , GP FRCP;
Dr Clara Israel, GP
Dr Esther Harazi, GP
Dr Nicola Renton, GP
Dr Judith Tobin, a retired GP
Dr Abigail Swerdlow, child psychiatrist
Dr Yehudit Bauernfreund, trainee psychiatrist

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