Coronavirus (1)

CoronaCor2In responding to the concern about the lack of any obvious Harrow council plans to help and support the residents who are or will be in the government imposed Corona isolation, Paul Hewitt, corporate director people services, simply said “We are taking very seriously our public service duties in this matter”.
On further enquiry to understand what “seriously” means, the council press office sent a link to the Harrow council leader’s generic statement about  the Coronavirus which contains a link to a Harrow council Corona web page.
The leader’s statement and council’s web page broadly repeat information about the medical aspects of the Coronavirus which is already in public domain nationally. These contain no information about how to seek Corona specific care and support from the council.
Such a Harrow council shortcoming is highly concerning considering that at least 16% Harrow population (39,200) is aged 65 and over who are likely to face Corona isolation. Added to this profile, at least 36,677 Harrow children are on free school meals who will be without schooling from this Friday for an indefinite period – many families hit by the school closure are single parent families with or without social services involvement.
It is unbelievable that the Harrow council has failed to adopt Corona specific good practices by some councils – like planning to coordinate schools and community centre kitchens for out of school children, coordinate help and support organised by the community groups and teaming up volunteers to ensure that the council is reaching as many people as possible across the borough.
Another big council failure is not to reassure residents through positive messages – for example, like those well publicised by Westminster council:
[If you are concerned about anyone who you think requires care and support please phone 020 7641 1444 or 020 7641 1175 or email adultsocialcare@westminster.gov.uk
If you or anyone in your household has symptoms you are advised to stay at home. If you are staying at home and need help please email westminsterconnects@westminster.gov.uk ]
Harrow MPs can also play a positive role (instead of issuing meaningless PR emails and tweets) by working with the council to form a well coordinated Corona unit to actively provide care and support for those facing Corona implications.