UK – COVID-19 screening of healthcare workers in a London maternity hospital

There have been increasing calls for universal screening of health-care workers for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We have been screening health-care workers at The Portland Hospital for Women and Children (London, UK) since March 17, 2020. By April 16, 2020, we had tested nasopharyngeal swabs taken from 266 staff members (>50% of the workforce) using SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR, and 47 (18%) were found to be positive. Of these positive cases, 31 (66%) were symptomatic and 16 (34%) were asymptomatic (figure). Overall, 28 (48%) staff members remained positive at 7 days after the initial test was taken, 16 (34%) at 10 days, and four (9%) at 14 days, with one health-care worker remaining positive until 26 days. Of 25 symptomatic staff members who initially tested negative and were retested, only one (4%) became positive after 7 days. Potential factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 positivity are summarised in the figure.

TWO DOCTORS’ TELEMEDICINE STORIES: UK and USA

Gynaecology by phone: Interview with Dr Melanie Davies, Consultant Gynaecologist, University College London Hospital, London UK Melanie Davies works at UCLH, one of the hospitals at the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in London. In the past two months, her working life has changed dramatically. After 40 years of hands-on work in the delivery suite, operating theatres and clinics, she’s now based at home and considered to be in a vulnerable group due to her … Continued

VIDEO – You Clap for Me Now: the coronavirus poem on racism and immigration in Britain

This video is a two-minute poem highlighting the crucial role immigrant workers in the UK – from senior health professionals to farm workers and delivery men – are playing in the Covid-19 outbreak.Put it on the front page of newspapers. Send it to the Donald Trumps, Boris Johnsons, Mohendra Modis, Benjamin Netanyahus, Viktor Orbans and Jair Bolsonaros of this world. Send it to everyone who thinks migrants should be left in boats to drown, that some … Continued

NORTHERN IRELAND – What a difference a day makes, especially when civil disobedience is in the air

The BBC news headline said it all: “Abortions ‘can now be carried out’ in Northern Ireland”. Medical professionals in Northern Ireland can now “terminate pregnancies lawfully”, the NI Department of Health said. Last month, Northern Ireland’s abortion laws changed to permit first trimester abortions, but due to continuing backroom attempts to foil this long-awaited change by senior anti-abortion politicians, who were said to still want to “discuss the issue”, this had not been put into … Continued

GREAT BRITAIN – National Health Service staff are improvising because the government is failing to provide personal protection equipment

“NHS staff are making improvised masks out of snorkels, buying kit from hardware stores and using school science goggles to protect themselves in anticipation of a rise in coronavirus cases, it has emerged. “Doctors and nurses said they were being forced to improvise as they worried about access to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). “A consultant anaesthetist working in south-east England reported buying 60 snorkels to adapt into respirator masks. “Various other places are doing the same,” … Continued

© 2016 International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion.

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