Read Latest BMJ Newsletter

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is now a global company, sharing medical information and knowledge, much of it free access – here’s their latest newsletter, which contains some excellent analysis of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Covid 19: Where’s the strategy for testing?

It would be nice to be able to say otherwise, but the UK’s approach to testing in this covid-19 pandemic continues to be chaotic, centralised, commercialised, and driven by numerical targets rather than clear strategy. Allan Wilson, president of the… Fiona Godlee

Covid-19: Demand for dexamethasone surges as RECOVERY trial publishes preprint

Production of dexamethasone must be rapidly ramped up to meet global demand for the drug, the World Health Organization has said. Elisabeth Mahase

Covid-19: Health and care workers will be “highest priority” for vaccination, says JCVI

“Frontline” health and social care workers will be the “highest priority for vaccination” once a vaccine against covid-19 becomes available, the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said. Jacqui Wise

Seven days in medicine: 17-23 June 2020


Sixty seconds on . . . the two metre rule

Not any more. While UK guidance for the past three months has been to stay 2 m apart from anyone outside of your household or support bubble, this week the prime minister announced a relaxation of the rule. Abi Rimmer

Covid-19: Local health teams trace eight times more contacts than national service

Local health protection teams have traced nearly eight times more contacts (77 642) than the national call centres and online service (9997), latest figures show. Elisabeth Mahase

Covid-19: UK drops its own contact tracing app to switch to Apple and Google model

The NHS has abandoned its plans to develop its own centralised app for contact tracing in favour of developing a version based on technology provided by Google and Apple. Jacqui Wise

Covid-19: Ethnic minority doctors feel more pressured and less protected than white colleagues, survey finds

Less than a third (29%) of black, Asian, and other ethnic minority doctors in the UK believe they are fully protected from covid-19 at work, whereas nearly half (46%) of their white colleagues do, shows a BMA survey of around 7500 doctors. Elisabeth Mahase

Covid-19: Researchers question policy of closing schools after finding under 20s have low susceptibility to virus

Children and young people under 20 are half as susceptible to covid-19 and far less likely to experience clinical symptoms than older age groups, a study published in Nature Medicine shows. Ingrid Torjesen

Five minutes with . . . Aarti Bansal

The GP and founder of Greener Practice explains why environmental sustainability is integral to the work of GPs Abi Rimmer

Covid-19: Public health agencies review whether vitamin D supplements could reduce risk

As agencies announce they are examining whether vitamin D supplements could reduce the risk of covid-19, Ingrid Torjesen finds out what the existing evidence shows Ingrid Torjesen

NHS health checks should start at age 25 for BAME patients, MPs hear

The NHS could help prevent illness and reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus in patients from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds by lowering the age at which the NHS health check begins for some patients, MPs have been told…. Adrian O’Dowd

Covid-19: Footballers mark silent respect for victims

Footballers from West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers and match officials take part in a minute’s silence on 20 June to commemorate the people in the UK who have died in the covid-19 pandemic. The recorded number of deaths from covid-19 was then… Alison Shepherd

Tackling UK’s mortality problem: covid-19 and other causes

We cannot reduce excess deaths unless we know what’s causing them Veena S Raleigh

Covid-19 and ethnic minorities: an urgent agenda for overdue action

The government’s report falls seriously short on commitment Kamlesh Khunti, Lucinda Platt et al

Covid-19 antibody tests: a briefing

Antibody tests are a potentially useful tool in the pandemic response—but what are they, how do they work, and are they all the same? Chris Baraniuk explains Chris Baraniuk

Why covid-19 antibody tests are not the game changer the UK government claims

Boris Johnson described antibody testing as “game changing” in the pandemic. But experts have grave concerns over how good the tests are—or even what they mean. Stephen Armstrong investigates Stephen Armstrong

Rapid roll out of SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing—a concern

We are writing to express concerns over aspects of the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in England. NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to NHS trusts and pathology networks on 25 May 2020, asking them to offer antibody testing at short… Monique Andersson, Nicola Low et al

Commercial influence and covid-19

Greater independence from commercial interests is more important than ever Ray Moynihan, Helen Macdonald et al