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Arun’s leader backs stance

Retired GP and Arun District Council leader Dr James Walsh has called on residents to stay calm in the face of the government’s restrictions to tackle coronavirus.


Cllr Dr Walsh, pictured right, said: “There is no need to panic, and certainly not panic-buying at supermarkets.


“But (follow) a sensible approach to staying indoors, keeping 2m away from others, and self-isolating for the prescribed times if exhibiting a fever and a new dry cough, or coming into contact with someone with symptoms.”


The government announced on Monday strict rules for people to follow – such as limiting bans on more than two people apart from families outside – to limit the spread of coronavirus.


“The government-imposed measures are sensible precautions, drawing on the experience of countries who are ahead of us in the spread of coronavirus Covid-19.


“They are designed to slow the spread of the disease so that the NHS is not overwhelmed in these early spring weeks,” said Cllr Dr Walsh. “Only time will tell how long they need to last. Please follow NHS guidance on calling doctors, NHS 111, or attending A&E.”


Cllr Dr Walsh also called on business owners to be aware of help which the government was putting together to assist them in surviving the enforced lack of work.


“Support for businesses and employees is now coming from central government, as local government just does not have the resources,” he said.


He was encouraged by the community spirit which had begun to emerge as the effects of the pandemic took hold.


“Many community groups are springing up via social media – but people should be aware of scams – and they should take their lead from the county and district councils and from the local resilience forum (of councils and emergency services).


“Please consult West Sussex County Council, Arun District Council and parish council websites for detailed local information, and remember to look out for neighbours.


“I am very grateful for this volunteering in the community, but please ensure that it is properly co-ordinated through the hubs being set up this week,” he added.

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