Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 20-26 January 2021

BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 28 January 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n222


Some occupations have higher covid death rate

Nearly two thirds of 7961 adult deaths (ages 20 to 64) involving covid-19 from 9 March to 28 December 2020 in England and Wales were among men (5128 deaths), showed data from the Office for National Statistics,1 and the age standardised mortality rate was significantly higher in men (31.4 deaths in 100 000) than in women (16.8 deaths in 100 000). Working in social care was linked to higher death rates in men and women than in the general population, but working in healthcare showed a link only in men. Nurses, nursing auxiliaries, and assistants also had higher covid death rates, but teachers did not.

WHO and China “acted too slowly” in early days

The World Health Organization was slow to act when SARS-CoV-2 emerged and should have declared a pandemic sooner to ensure that countries understood the gravity of the situation, concluded the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response. It said that the global pandemic alert system was “not fit for purpose” and “slow, cumbersome, and indecisive.” The system needed updating for the digital era, said the panel, along with a “political step change in the willingness of countries to hold themselves accountable for taking all necessary actions as soon as an alert is given.” A full report is expected in May. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.n172)

Rules are too flexible, says Independent SAGE

The UK government must stop blaming the public for continued high infection rates …

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