COVID-19 current figures
Today's COVID-19 headlines
WHO: supporting older people during the COVID-19 pandemic
WHO Europe has said that supporting and protecting older people living alone in the community is everyone’s business as more than 50% of all fatalities involved people aged 80 years or older.
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “I am reminding governments and authorities that all communities must be supported to deliver interventions to ensure older people have what they need. All older people should be treated with respect and dignity during these times. Remember, we leave no one behind.
"Older adults are at a significantly increased risk of severe disease following infection from COVID-19."
He said that over 95% of deaths occurred in those older than 60 years. Reports show that 8 out of 10 deaths are occurring in individuals with at least one comorbidity, in particular those with cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes, but also with a range of other chronic underlying conditions.
BMA publishes ethical guidance for doctors during COVID-19 outbreak
In its guidance, the association warns the clinical demands likely to be posed by the pandemic will inevitably require doctors to have to make extremely difficult choices about how they provide care to patients.
The document highlights how the demands placed on the health service at the peak of the pandemic will see doctors and other healthcare staff being required to move away from their usual roles to help meet patient demand.
The guidance also warns that, with the NHS having little to no surge capacity, ‘serious health needs may outstrip availability and difficult decisions will be required about how to distribute scarce life-saving resources’.
Extra risks faced by diabetics from COVID-19
Doctors need to pay particular attention to patients with endocrine disorders and diabetes mellitus in relation to COVID-19 infections, say leading endocrinologists.
In an editorial published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, they say data from Wuhan province in China, where the pandemic started, has revealed that patients with diabetes mellitus were over-represented in the group of people who become severely ill and also among those who died.
Paul Stewart, Professor of Medicine at the University of Leeds, said: "There is early evidence from China that those patients who have endocrinological disorders face additional risks from COVID-19.
"The scientific picture indicates that these people need to self-isolate, to try and reduce the chance of infection in the same way as the background population. There are endocrinological disorders that affect the body's ability to make steroid hormones - or glucocorticoids - to help overcome infection. This might make some patients more vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 illness."
Other news roundup
- Nightingale Hospital opens in London
- US records 1,169 deaths
- Teachers asked to provide grades for GCSE and A-level students
- Spain death toll hits 10,935 with daily increase of 932
- Edgbaston cricket ground to become testing centre for NHS staff