Univadis COVID-19 Weekly Overview 29 May

  • Ben Gallarda
  • Univadis Medical News
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Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Univadis would like to share with you the most impactful and clinically relevant articles across our network from the past week.

Some of these articles are only published in local languages, but we have tried to summarise the key points for you below and link to the original source of each article in case you would like to read more, with languages other than English noted in brackets.

This is a snapshot of emerging best-practices during a rapidly evolving pandemic. Any and all information currently available related to COVID-19 is subject to change as more details become available. Some of the information below may also be contradicted by local or global health authorities. You can find all of the most up-to-date COVID-19 coverage on your local Univadis site or smartphone application.

We hope this information will be useful to your ongoing medical care for all patients, whether directly involved with COVID-19 or not.

  1. The Italian Ministry of Health has published guidelines for the disinfection of non-medical environments, including restaurants, shops, etc. Highly controversial, these guidelines consider base hypothetical survival time of the virus on the most restrictive studies available, which were mostly done in experimental settings. They appear not to consider the effects of sun, wind, temperature and other influences on the risk of contagion, such as time and intensity of exposure. These guidelines require a huge amount of work, many times per day, to clean all the surfaces touched by clients.
  2. The Italian National Drug Agency (AIFA) has cancelled the authorisation [Italian] for off-label hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine and updated COVID-19 treatment recommendations. This decision was based on a multinational registry analysis published last week.
  3. The French Health Authorities (HAS) have finalised its evaluation of three kinds of serological tests [French]: rapid diagnostic tests, rapid diagnostic orientation tests, and self-tests. The first is available by prescription, performed in a laboratory, and is reimbursed. The second can be performed by healthcare professionals or trained members of certain associations, but required confirmation by a second test. HAS does not recommend the use of self-test.
  4. An in-press study of COVID-19 and diabetes from France further delineates risk factors related to this comorbidity. Results show longer time with diabetes and vascular complications increased risk of death, and that dyspnoea, elevated C-reactive protein or aspartate aminotransferase upon admission increased risk of intubation or death.
  5. The remdesivir study has been published, showing the effects of this treatment on 1063 patients (n=538 on remdesivir, n=521 on placebo). Remdesivir significantly reduced time to recover (11 vs 15 days; P<.001 was particularly helpful for patients requiring oxygen. it did not however significantly reduce mortality rates vs p=".059).</li">
  6. Germany saw two cluster outbreaks of COVID-19, one related to a church service in Frankfurt infecting at least 107 people and one linked to a restaurant in Moormerland in the Leer district infecting at least 18 people. 118 people are now quarantined as a result.
  7. The Spanish Ministry of Health is reporting high levels of psychiatric symptoms in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. 43.9% presented with some psychiatric symptom, including 12.2% with post-traumatic stress disorder and 26.8% with anxiety or depression.
  8. The Spanish Society of Family Medicine (semFYC [Spanish]) has developed a proposal for “clean and dirty zones” to structure different levels of primary care in relation to COVID-19. Other aspects of this proposal relate to appointment systems and the role of primary care physicians, nurses and health administrators.
  9. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has approved remdesivir under an Early Access to Medicines Scheme. This balances fast access to this experimental treatment with a rigorous collection of safety data.
  10. Scotland’s National Health Service will launch a “Test and Protect” programme this week, meant to allow widespread testing of symptomatic patients and their close contacts.