The Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson is urging people to get tested for coronavirus after he lost his brother to the disease.
Tomlinson, who starred as Jim Royle in the popular sitcom, expressed his warnings about the virus in a video posted on the Twitter account of Liverpool City Council.
The city is currently trialling mass testing, allowing anyone who lives or works in Liverpool access to a coronavirus test, even if they are not showing symptoms.
See Tomlinson’s video below:
The actor described coronavirus as a ‘killer’, stressing that he knows ‘only too well’ because he just lost one of his brothers to the virus.
Tomlinson, who grew up in Liverpool, is the second of four brothers; Albert, David and Ronnie. He did not reveal which brother had passed away.
Encouraging people to get tested while they can, Tomlinson said:
Don’t let it happen to you, send away for your kit today and do what you’re supposed to do. Save your life and your loved ones around you.
The 81-year-old told viewers that he had already completed a home test and was ready to send it back. He plans to then ‘send for another one and repeat it again’ to ensure his results are accurate.
Tomlinson added: ‘It’s so important.’
The mass testing pilot began in Liverpool on November 6 and is expected to run until the end of the month. Residents can also get tested at a number of centres across the city, where 2,000 military personnel have been recruited to help deliver the tests.
According to figures cited by the Liverpool Echo today, November 20, a total of 99,000 Lateral Flow tests have been carried out on people who do not have symptoms and wouldn’t normally come forward for a test since the scheme began.
These tests resulted in 700 positive cases, after which the patients were urged to self-isolate.
Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health, commented on the early success of the scheme, saying:
We’re really pleased with the progress of the pilot, over a quarter of the population of Liverpool has been tested since the start of the pilot, and as a result we have a much greater understanding of how best to deploy testing in practice, where the virus is in the city, and how we need to refine the testing offer going forward.
We have to remember we only started the pilot on November 6, so progress to date has been very strong.
Liverpool residents can find more information about how to get tested on the government’s website.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
CreditsLiverpool City Council/Twitter and 1 other
Liverpool City Council/Twitter
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