Latest clinical news updates
New bill to ease the burden on frontline NHS staff
New laws will be introduced to protect public health, increase NHS capacity, strengthen social care and support the public to take the right action at the right time.
Oxford scientists develop rapid testing technology
Scientists from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) have developed a rapid testing technology for the novel corona virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
The new test is much faster and does not need a complicated instrument. Previous viral RNA tests took 1.5 to 2 hours to give a result. The research team has developed a new test, based on a technique which is capable of giving results in just half an hour – over three times faster than the current method.
Additionally, the technology is very sensitive. This means that patients in early stages of infection may be identified sooner, potentially helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The technology only requires a simple heat-block which maintains a constant temperature for RNA reverse transcription and DNA amplification, and the results can be read by the naked eye. This makes it potentially useful in rural area or community healthcare centres.
Lancet: prisons and COVID-19
According to a comment piece in the Lancet, prisons and other custodial settings are an integral part of the public health response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
It said that prisons are epicentres for infectious diseases because of the higher background prevalence of infection, the higher levels of risk factors for infection, the unavoidable close contact in often overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and unsanitary facilities, and the poor access to healthcare services relative to that in community settings.
The authors added: "COVID-19 has an increased mortality in older people and in those with chronic diseases or immunosuppression. Notably, multimorbidity is normative among people in prison, often with earlier onset and greater severity than in the general population, and prison populations are ageing in many countries.
"Furthermore, inadequate investment in prison health, substantial overcrowding in some prison settings, and rigid security processes have the potential to delay diagnosis and treatment."
Other news round up
- Glastonbury festival and Eurovison Song Contest cancelled
- All UK tourists advised to leave Spain
- Catholic church to suspend public acts of worship in UK