One in seven people were forced to visit a pharmacy at least twice because they were unable to see their GP due to Covid-19 safety measures, a survey has found.
More than 2,000 adults were asked if they had to turn to their local pharmacist because their doctor could not see them at the surgery in person.
Twelve per cent needed new lumps and swellings examined – prompting concerns that many people who are worried they have cancer are being forced to turn to their pharmacist rather than their GP.
Andrew Lane, chair of the National Pharmacy Association, which commissioned the research, said: “Pharmacy teams absorb pressure that would otherwise fall onto other parts of the system, including GPs and A&E – and in that way we’ve helped to keep the wheels on the NHS over these traumatic recent months.”
WHO Covid envoy fears third wave
A World Health Organisation (WHO) special Covid-19 envoy predicted a third wave of the pandemic in Europe in early 2021, if governments repeat what he said was a failure to do what was needed to prevent the second wave of infections.
“They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months, after they brought the first wave under the control,” the WHO’s David Nabarro said in an interview with Swiss newspapers.”Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year,” said Mr Nabarro, a Briton who campaigned unsuccessfully to become the WHO director general in 2017.
Europe briefly enjoyed sinking infection rates that are now surging again: Germany and France on Saturday saw cases rise by 33,000 combined, Switzerland and Austria have thousands of cases daily, while Turkey reported a record 5,532 new infections.
Vaccines offer hope, but route back to a normal life far from straightforward
In the words of the song, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
There was more than a hint of this in the decision in early summer to quickly wind down social distancing measures across Europe. With economies tanking and no obvious hope on the horizon, politicians could be tempted to gamble even though the rules of contagion were stacked against them.
Now with two vaccines illuminating the end of the tunnel, the political calculus has fundamentally changed. Today the question political leaders face is not, will we return to normal? But when will we get there – and who will get there first?
China begins mass testing, shutting down schools
Authorities are conducting mass testing and shutting down schools after China reported three new domestically transmitted cases in the past 24 hours – two in northern Inner Mongolia province and one in Shanghai.
The city of Manzhouli, in Inner Mongolia, will start testing all its residents on Sunday, a day after the two cases were discovered. The city has suspended classes and shut public venues, telling residents to not gather for dinner banquets.
Local authorities in Shanghai found one more case on Saturday after testing 15,416 people following recent locally transmitted cases. The city is not shutting down its schools, but has locked down specific facilities such as a hospital. It is also testing all residents in the Pudong New Area district.
China is already conducting mass testing for up to 3 million residents in the northern city of Tianjin after five cases were found there earlier in the week. The total number of confirmed cases in China is 86,431.
FDA approves use of antibody treatment given to Trump
The US Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued emergency use authorisation for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Covid-19 antibody therapy, an experimental treatment given to President Donald Trump that he said helped cure him of the disease.
The FDA said the monoclonal antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab, should be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in adults and paediatric patients with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe Covid-19.
This includes those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain chronic medical conditions.
Experts fear false hope in India
India has registered 45,209 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours amid a festival season surge in the country’s capital and many other parts.
At least three Indian states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat – have imposed night curfews in many cities.
The Health Ministry on Sunday also registered 501 deaths, taking total fatalities up to 133,227.
While the overall pace of new cases appears to be slowing, experts have cautioned that official figures may be offering false hope since many infections are undetected.
Australia prepares for a better summer
South Australia and Victoria eased Covid restrictions on Sunday as Australia heads into summer in a better position to fight the virus.
Victoria, which was hardest hit, has gone 23 days without a new infection. In response, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a number of changes to restrictions. Mask-wearing outdoors, which until now has been mandatory, is no longer required where social distancing is possible.
Masks will still have to be worn indoors and carried at all times. Home gatherings of up to 15 people will be allowed and up to 50 people can gather outdoors.
Up to 150 people will be allowed at weddings, funerals or indoor religious services.
Residents of South Australia emerged from a state-wide lockdown at midnight on Saturday, and are now able to visit bars and restaurants in groups of up to 10 and host gatherings with 50 people with social distancing.
The border between Victoria and New South Wales states – closed at the height of the Victoria outbreak three months ago – reopened on Sunday.
Numbers continue to rise in Japan
The daily tally of confirmed Covid cases in Japan hit a record for the fourth day at 2,508, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.
Japan has had less than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths so far, avoiding the toll of harder-hit nations. But fears are growing about another surge.
A flurry of criticism from opposition legislators and the public has slammed the Government for being too slow in halting its “GoTo” tourism campaign, which encouraged travel and dining out with discounts.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday scrapped the campaign, but only after many people had already made travel reservations for a three-day Thanksgiving weekend in Japan.
Airports and restaurants have been packed. Some say the government should have offered to pay for cancellations, or stepped up testing instead, if the goal is to keep the economy going amid a pandemic.
Tutorials are circulating online on the proper way to eat and drink at restaurants while wearing masks.
Source: The Telegraph Travels