PRECAUTIONARY measures are being taken to protect some of Clacton’s most vulnerable communities in response to the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Covid-19 has now claimed the lives of more than 7,500 people across the globe and has infected more than 2,000 in the UK and 21 in Essex. A total of 71 patients who tested positive in the UK have sadly died.

In order to protect those most at risk in Tendring, community groups and care homes are taking action.

Corner Lodge Care Home, in Jaywick, and Corner House Care Home, in Wash Lane, have both implemented visiting restrictions.

“We are leaving nothing to chance and we are doing all we can to keep everyone safe,” a spokesman said.

“The home has an excellent deep cleaning programme and further measures have been taken.

“We are taking the temperatures of visitors and staff, and ensuring handwashing is taking place immediately upon arrival.”

The Government has now asked people over the age of 70 to stay in doors for as long as three months for their own protection.

But, Community Voluntary Services Tendring is concerned the older generation could become isolated.

Chief officer, Sharon Alexander, said: “No-one can fully prepare for this unprecedented situation.

“Our primary concern is the health of our service users, but we are concerned that people may become socially isolated. We are putting systems in place for people to keep communicating.”

Weeley and Tendring ward councillor, Peter Harris, has called on good samaritans to look out for elderly residents.

“It is really important that we all look to help our vulnerable neighbours and make sure they are okay,” he said.

“It would great to have a network of volunteers right across Tendring.”

Sean Duffy, a school teacher at Clacton County High School, which has told some students to work from home, has also approached Tendring Council with a plan to alert people to elderly residents in need.

He said: "We have never seen anything quite like this before - it is mostly unprecedented and therefore people are anxious over what the future may look like.

"So, in order to support the elderly and those most in need, we must come together to support each other as a community - it is essential that we support those most at risk first.

"In my proposal to Tendring Council, I am outlining that we provide all elderly residents, starting with those who live alone, with a sign to display in their windows.

"This way, neighbours will know that they need support during this time."

Residents with non-urgent illnesses are also now being asked to not visit St James surgery, in St Osyth, in a bid to maintain the welfare of its staff and patients.

“Due to the current situation with coronavirus, and to protect all patients and staff, we are now cancelling all non-urgent appointments," said a spokesman.

“Where possible patients will be dealt with via telephone or video consultation.

“Please do not attend the surgery. The clinician will ring you as close to your booked appointment time as possible - your cooperation is appreciated.”

Charlotte Toms, 31, from, Clacton, has a young son called Ernie, 1, who is currently fighting Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome - the same disease which his older brother Reggie, 3, has battled in the past.

Despite their weak immune systems, her third son, George, is still required to attend school, which Mrs Toms is worried about.

"I am really concerned, especially as George is having to go to school still," she said.

"I understand the reasoning behind the decision having to be made at the right time, but it is still very worrying know how vulnerable both the boys are."

So far, it is currently unknown whether or not anyone within the district is suffering from coronavirus.

But Tendring Council said it is prepared for the potential wider outbreak of Covid-19 across the area.

“Tendring Council, as part of our general Emergency Planning work, is prepared for the situation,” a spokesman said.

“This involves reviewing our own business continuity plans and any potential impacts on our workforce and reviewing likely key areas such as Port Health with particular regard to Harwich International Port.

“We continue to work closely with partners such as Harwich Haven Authority, Public Health England and the Essex Resilience Forum, to monitor the situation and to update our plans accordingly.”

The Government vowed on Tuesday to do “whatever it takes” to protect the UK from impact of the coronavirus.

In what Chancellor Rishi Sunak described as an “unprecedented package”, he announced Government-backed loans worth £330billion to prop up the economy.

Anyone living in a house with somebody who has a persistent cough or fever should isolate themselves for 14 days.

All people should avoid crowded places.