UK govt stands firm on local measures despite virus surge

The British government on Thursday vowed to persist with localised coronavirus restrictions, despite fresh data showing surging numbers of cases and deaths across the country, and new national lockdowns in its European neighbours.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick conceded statistics showed Britain was in a “bad place”, with nearly 25,000 new cases registered on Wednesday.

But he indicated that ministers were still opposed to another nationwide lockdown and said targeted action was “the best way forward” given varying rates of infection.

“We will continue with our localised but proportionate approach on taking action where the virus is strongest,” he told Sky News television.

“Despite the fact the virus is rising across the country it is very concentrated in some places nonetheless.”

France announced Wednesday it will begin a new month-long national lockdown while Germany — with lower case rates than Britain — will also roll out drastic new curbs.

The Republic of Ireland shut down again last week, as did Wales, following in the footsteps of Northern Ireland which went into a four-week partial lockdown earlier this month.  

In contrast in England, where health policy is set by the UK government, three tiers of restrictions remain in place depending on local infection rates.

But even the highest “tier three” falls short of ordering people to stay at home.

Figures released on Thursday estimate that about 100,000 people are catching the coronavirus every day.

Cases are doubling every nine days and rising in all age groups and regions, according to the ongoing study by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI.

The R rate — which indicates the number of people one person with the virus is likely to infect — has risen to 1.6, it said.

Britain is also seeing a sharp increase in virus mortality rates.

Another 310 deaths of people who had tested positive in the prior 28 days were reported Wednesday — the second consecutive day of more than 300 fatalities.

– ‘Nationwide repositioning’ –

Britain is already the hardest hit country in Europe, with more than 45,000 fatalities among those testing positive.

But excess deaths registered during the pandemic suggest the toll could be nearly double that.

The worsening situation is now presenting a serious challenge to Prime Minister Boris Johnson “whack-a-mole” strategy of targeted local action in virus hotspots.

Earlier this year, Johnson was criticised for a slow response to the outbreak, delaying locking down Britain even as the number of positive cases and deaths spiralled across Europe.

He eventually imposed a national lockdown in late March, shutting all non-essential shops and schools, and forcing millions to work from home to cut transmission rates.

The stay-at-home measures were lifted in June as cases dwindled but numbers began to climb again from September.

That month, the government’s top scientific advisers recommended a national “circuit-breaker” lockdown over schools’ half term holidays this week.

But Johnson has so far resisted.

World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy David Nabarro said Johnson’s localised efforts had been “very effective” at slowing

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Sentry stands with Ryan White Clinics as study highlights importance of funding and 340B program in managing HIV/AIDS epidemic

Sentry stands with Ryan White Clinics as study highlights importance of funding and 340B program in managing HIV/AIDS epidemic

PR Newswire

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., Oct. 26, 2020

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Sentry Data Systems, Inc., the nation’s leader in pharmacy procurement, compliance and utilization management, announced today a new analysis from Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access, a nonprofit organization of HIV/AIDS medical providers of which Sentry is a benefactor. The study highlights the importance of Ryan White Clinics in effectively treating the conditions, and it suggests that any reductions in federal funding or to the 340B drug benefits the clinics depend on would have a devastating effect on efforts to manage the public health crisis.

Sentry stands with Ryan White Clinics as study highlights importance of funding, 340B program in managing HIV/AIDS epidemic
Sentry stands with Ryan White Clinics as study highlights importance of funding, 340B program in managing HIV/AIDS epidemic

“Ryan White Clinics are an indispensable part of our nation’s healthcare safety net and play an effective role in treating an especially vulnerable group of Americans,” said Travis Leonardi, founder and CEO of Sentry Data Systems. “Sentry is proud to support Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access and its members through advocacy, technology and the expertise they need to maximize their 340B benefits and continue providing high-quality care to their patients.”

Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access (RWC-340B) is a national organization of health care clinics and service providers that receive support under the federal Ryan White CARE Act, which provides funds for services used primarily by indigent and uninsured people with HIV/AIDS. Ryan White providers are also eligible for the federal 340B Drug Discount Program and use it to expand affordable access to expensive and life-saving HIV/AIDS medications. Sentry is a Platinum Level Benefactor of RWC-340B and has made a significant donation to the nonprofit in 2020 to help share important 340B-related information with its members.

The new data-driven white paper comes as the 340B program is under assault from drug manufacturers and as the federal government is pushing Medicare Part B rate cuts for 340B drugs. It states that any reduction in resources, including 340B Drug Pricing Program savings, could have long-term consequences for patients served through Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program-funded clinics, including disruptions in care and treatment, adverse health outcomes, or increased healthcare expenses.

On Oct. 9, RWC-340B filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Health Resources and Services Administration. It seeks action against four drug manufacturers that have refused to sell 340B-discounted drugs to covered entities when ordered through a contract pharmacy.

“Given the sustained and serious threats to the 340B program, this white paper and analysis reveals important facts about the critical role Ryan White clinics play in the safety net,” said Mark Malahosky, RPh BPharm, Vice President, Pharmacy Services, Trillium Health and Treasurer of Ryan White Clinics for 340B Access. “This report proves what we’ve known all along: harm to the 340B program means dangerous consequences for public health and

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