Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 29 July to 4 August 2020

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 06 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3076


Pre-surgery shielding is lifted

Patients in England having elective surgery no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days before going to hospital, said new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and NHS England and Improvement, supported by the royal colleges.1 They should instead adopt strict social distancing and handwashing, have a test for SARS‑CoV‑2 in the three days before admission, and self-isolate from the day of the test until the day of admission. In all other planned procedures, including diagnostic tests and imaging, patients should follow comprehensive social distancing and hand hygiene measures for 14 days before having the planned care.

People with symptoms should isolate for 10 days

The UK’s four chief medical officers recommended that people with symptoms of covid-19 should self-isolate for 10 days, up from seven days in previous advice. They should arrange a test but should avoid going to GP surgeries, pharmacies, or hospitals. “Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with covid-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between seven and nine days after illness onset,” they said.

“Covid friendly” cancer treatments are rolled out

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, announced £160m (€177m; $210m) of funding for cancer drugs that are gentler on the immune system or that offer other benefits such as fewer hospital visits. The new options …

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