Public health advice for those over 70

Sir, – There has been a large outcry in these pages about the Government's specific public healthcare advice for the over-70s (August 20th).

It is worth pointing out that compliance with this advice is still voluntary. People who wish to make their own risk assessments about their activities can continue to do so.

Many people have also written decrying the fact that over-70s are being treated as a homogenous group. Age is an independent risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality from Covid-19 and as such it is reasonable to advise this group to take extra precautions, in a similar way to how one would advise other high-risk groups, such as patients with cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, the nature of public health guidance is that it is derived from, and applicable to, the general characteristics of the population being advised. It will naturally not be fine-tuned to apply to every individual’s circumstances and medical history, as some seem to wish. – Yours, etc,




Co Kerry.