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Plans to crack Covid-19 start to emerge – this week’s Friday Five

NHSE announces action plan to restart urgent non-COVID care

NHS England has set out a six-week action plan to restore capacity and create space for other care, such as cancer therapy and electives, which COVID-19 has put on hold.

The process will differ depending on region because infection rates are different, and different organisations have managed their response to COVID-19 in slightly different ways.

Alongside the plan, senior NHS leaders have warned that the service must retain its ability to repurpose and surge capacity should it be needed again.

Read the full story in the HSJ.

Plans for large-scale manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine get under way

The University of Oxford have partnered with the UK-based global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the further development, large-scale manufacture and possible distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate that started human trials last week.

If the trial proves successful, the vaccine should be submitted for fast track regulatory approval in the fourth quarter of 2020, and available for limited use by the end of the year.

As well as providing UK access as early as possible, AstraZeneca hopes to facilitate global distribution of the vaccine, particularly working to make it available and accessible for low and medium income countries.

Read the full story on BBCNews.

Growing concerns of rare inflammatory syndrome linked to COVID-19 in children

Doctors around the world have reported more cases of a rare but potential lethal inflammatory syndrome in children that appears to be linked to coronavirus infections.

The first cases came to light this week when the North Central London CCG and Paediatric Intensive Care Society voiced their concern about a number of children being admitted to ICU with overlapping features of toxic shock syndrome and atypical Kawasaki disease that could be caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Child health leaders have stressed that there is currently a small number of cases, but equally that parents should seek urgent advice if they have concerns about their child.

Read the full story in the BMJ.

NHSX counters concerns about security of contact-tracing app

After concerns were raised about the privacy and security of contact tracing apps, NHSX has established an ethics advisory board that will oversee the development of it’s COVID19 contact-tracing app.

The advisory board panel will be led by professor Sir Jonathon Montgomery, of University College London.

If trials are successful, the contact-tracing app will constitute a key part of UK strategy to counter the pandemic and launch is aimed for the coming weeks.

Read the full story at


Quote of the week

In an editorial to be published in May’s edition of the Lancet Global Health, the potential for COVID-19 to rapidly overwhelm health systems in Africa, was raised as a key area for concern.

The authors remarked on the history of colonialism that continues to affect how African nations are viewed by richer, more developed countries and urged a need to respect and protect all nations

“We must reflect on practices that have their origins in 19th century imperialism and replace them with new systems that are rooted in values of recognition, reciprocity, and respect.”

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