Published September 11, 2020 at 15:25
Doctors in Rossendale have made a direct plea to people who are refusing to wear face masks.
Dr Abdul Mannan, Chair of Rossendale West Primary Care Network and a GP at The Surgery (Dr Moujaes and Mannan) in Haslingden, has issued the plea on behalf of the nine GP practices in Rossendale.
It comes as additional lockdown rules were relaxed across the valley for approximately 70,000 residents, many of whom have been shielding for several months and would potentially be the worst affected if Lancashire is hit by a second wave of COVID-19.
It is already compulsory to wear a face covering on public transport and in shops and other venues in England.
Dr Mannan said: “We appreciate not everyone will find it easy to wear a mask, but we would encourage everyone to show their support for these measures, as they are designed to keep us safe from this devastating disease.
“For those who don’t want to wear a face mask, you need to understand that there is a large proportion of the local population who are extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and who have been shielded from the first wave of this disease.
“The face masks may be a burden to you, but you’re saving someone vulnerable from catching COVID-19. Please think about everyone else around you. If there’s a second wave the shielding patients will be the ones at serious risk of death. Please help prevent this.”
Cllr Jackie Oakes, Portfolio Holder for Health at Rossendale Borough Council added: “We fully endorse Dr Mannan’s message.
“It is crucially important that everyone stick to the current government guidelines if we are to halt the spread of the virus and protect those most vulnerable.
“Wearing a mask in shops, on public transport and other public venues, maintaining social distancing and regularly washing your hands are a small price to pay to help halt the spread of this virus and avoid a second wave.”