May 14, 2020
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Coronavirus: Months Before NHS Can Restart Services, And Four Other Stories You Need To Know
With millions of people on NHS waiting lists it could be ‘months’ before public health services are able to fully resume as a result of coronavirus, experts have warned. 
The news comes as more than 33,000 people have died in the UK after contracting coronavirus, with 229,705 people testing positive. Here’s the latest. ‘Months’ before the NHS can restart servicesIt will be months before the NHS is able to fully restart services in the face of Covid-19, health leaders have warned.
Experts from the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust are set to tell MPs on Thursday of the significant challenges facing the health service as it tries to create a “new normal”.
It is expected that the number of people waiting for treatment will have risen sharply as a result of the pandemic, with NHS waiting list data due to be published soon. 
The waiting list for planned treatment stood at around 4.4m before the Coronavirus outbreak but is now expected to be much higher.
A separate report from NHS Providers, which represents NHS organisations, warns there are challenges to ramping up care for people with non-Covid conditions while still caring for Covid patients.
In a joint submission to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust said the government and health and care leaders should not underestimate the pandemic’s impact on already exhausted staff.
They warned that an information campaign will be needed to urge the public to overcome their fears and start using the NHS again, while preparations must also be made for a possible second peak of Covid-19 alongside the usual winter pressures such as seasonal flu.
The organisations also said more personal protective equipment (PPE) will be needed as non-Covid services resume, more space must be allocated so patients and staff can socially distance, and there is a need for greater levels of testing.
As well as a shortage of PPE and testing, the NHS also faces a new demand for mental health services and a lack of key drugs and equipment including anaesthetic drugs and kidney dialysis machines.
These factors, together with the extra time needed for cleaning equipment and facilities, will “severely limit capacity for many months until the infection has been brought under control in the community,” the organisations said in a joint statement.
The groups warned that the pandemic has exposed “pre-existing weaknesses”, most obviously a long-term under-investment in health and care services and a “precarious” social care system.
“These issues will still need to be tackled alongside the backlog of demand,” they said.New antibody test ‘100% accurate’ A new coronavirus antibody test has been found to be 100% accurate, public health leaders have said.
Public Health England (PHE) said that last week the scientific experts at its Porton Down facility had carried out an independent evaluation of a new antibody blood test developed by a Swiss pharmaceutical company.
The examination found that Roche’s serology test was “highly specific” and had an accuracy of 100%.
The findings have been hailed as a “very positive development” in combating the coronavirus outbreak.
The test is designed to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the virus that causes Covid-19 and whether they have developed antibodies against it.
The detection of these antibodies could help to indicate if a person has gained immunity against the virus.
Professor John Newton, national coordinator of the UK Coronavirus Testing Programme, said: “We were confident that good quality antibody tests would become available when they were needed.
“Last week, scientific experts at PHE Porton Down carried out an independent evaluation of the new Roche Sars-CoV-2 serology assay in record time, concluding that it is a highly specific assay with specificity of 100%.
“This is a very positive development because such a highly specific antibody test is a very reliable marker of past infection.
“This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection although the extent to which the presence of anti-bodies indicates immunity remains unclear.”
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it was delighted that devices were progressing through validation and was working on plans to roll out antibody testing, adding that an announcement will be made “in due course”.
But on Monday morning, health minister Edward Argar said the government was not yet in a position to roll out the tests. 
Speaking to BBC News, he said: “It has only just got the green light.
“Obviously we will have had kits to test, but we are not in a position at this point to give these tests out.”
He added: “So we’re not in a position yet to roll it out to the public and have those tests ready to go.”Trump undermines his top health official – again Donald Trump has accused his top infection disease expert of “to play all sides of the equation” after the doctor warned against loosening lockdown too early. 
Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, the US president aired his frustration with Dr Anthony Fauci’s comments to a Senate hearing the day before, which included raising concerns around children returning to schools and the likelihood of a vaccine becoming available before the return of classes in the autumn. 
“Look, he wants to play all sides of the equation,” Trump said of his top coronavirus expert’s concerns.
“I was surprised by his answer actually, because, you know, it’s just to me - it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools,” he told reporters.
Trump added “the only thing that would be acceptable” is giving older teachers and professors a few more weeks before they return, the BBC reported. 
“Because this is a disease that attacks age, and it attacks health.
“But with the young children, I mean, and students, it’s really - just take a look at the statistics. It’s pretty amazing,” Trump added.
The president has consistently pushed for lockdown restrictions to be eased across the US, despite currently holding what is by far the world’s highest confirmed death toll with almost 85,000 fatalities.
In a meeting with lawmakers on Tuesday, Fauci warned that the premature relaxation of stay-at-home orders could bring more “suffering and death”. 
The director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases emphasised the importance of not being “cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” of the disease, and warned that the real US death toll was likely to be higher than the official figure. 
Fauci said: “We just have to see on a step-by-step basis as we get into the period of time with the fall, about reopening the schools, exactly where we will be in the dynamics of the outbreak.”Just days ago Trump again publicly contradicted Fauci – telling Republican lawmakers that the virus “will go away without a vaccine”.  WHO warns Covid-19 ‘may never go away’  A top World Health Organisation (WHO) official has warned that Covid-19 “may never go away”, as new coronavirus clusters surface around the world amid the battle to avoid a second wave of infections. “This virus may never go away,” Dr Michael Ryan said in a press briefing Wednesday. Without a vaccine, he said it could take years for the global population to build up sufficient levels of immunity.“I think it’s important to put this on the table,” he said. “This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities,” he said, noting that other previously novel diseases like HIV have never disappeared, but that effective treatments have been developed. Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic first began late last year, reportedly were pressing ahead Wednesday to test all 11m residents for the virus within 10 days after a handful of new infections were found.In Lebanon, authorities reinstated a nationwide lockdown for four days beginning Wednesday night after a spike in reported infections and complaints from officials that social distancing rules were being ignored.Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, added that she recognised some people were “in a state of feeling quite some despair,” but pointed out that stopping the virus even without medical interventions was possible.“The trajectory of this outbreak is in our hands,” she said. “We have seen some countries bring the virus under control.”Up to 100 children affected by rare disorder linked to Covid-19 Up to 100 children in the UK have been diagnosed with a rare inflammatory disease linked to coronavirus, researchers have revealed.
A study has found that dozens more children across Europe and the US have fallen ill with the disease, which can cause symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome. 
In April it emerged that doctors had been told to be aware of the increased prevalence of the coronavirus-related condition, with one paediatric doctor telling HuffPost UK that there had been more children under 12 affected, with the situation “changing on a very fluid basis.” 
The alert was issued after eight children fell ill in London, with one 14-year-old dying of the disease, the BBC reported. 
Doctors said all eight children had similar symptoms – a high fever, rash, red eyes and swelling – when they were admitted to Evelina London Children’s Hospital.
Seven of the children were put on a ventilator to help improve heart and circulation issues, but most of the children did not suffer from any major lung or breathing problems. 
Doctors have described the illness as a “new phenomenon” similar to Kawasaki disease shock syndrome - a extremely rare condition known to mainly affect children under the age of five. 
However, the new disease is also affecting older children up to the age of 16. 
Infographic supplied by Statista.Related... 7 Essential Pieces Of Relationship Advice For Couples In Quarantine New Coronavirus Antibody Test Found To Have 100% Accuracy, Public Health England Reveals I Just Flew Home In The Middle Of The Pandemic. This Is What It’s Like
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