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Surviving Covid-19: Social Work Issues in a Global Pandemic (Child Protection and Welfare, and Social Care)

By Lena Dominelli, University of Stirling

The new corona virus, SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) recognised in humans in December 2019, is now known as Covid-19 (1). Its first epicentre was in Wuhan, China, where strong measures were taken to contain the virus before any country fully understood its characteristics. It is now found in virtually every country in the world and its global spread has been termed a ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO claimed that on 6 April 2020, there were 1,331,032 confirmed cases, 73,916 deaths and 253,596 recovered cases and rising. Of these, the UK had 51,608 confirmed cases, 5,373 deaths; and 135 recovered cases. The British government has passed emergency legislation that prioritises support for the National Health Services (NHS) and other essential services, enforces ‘social distancing’, lockdown conditions and forms of support for the economy. It also passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 which spells out emergency registration and responsibilities for practitioners including social workers.