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HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 17 May 2021

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Parliamentary Coverage

New measures to boost response to the B1.617.2 variant
Department of Health and Social Care and The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP13 May 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care announced new measures by the Government, along with Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and local authorities to control the COVID-19 variant first identified in India (B1.617.2) which is beginning to spread in certain areas across the country.

A new Surge Rapid Response Team is being deployed in Bolton, additional surge testing will shortly launch in areas such as Formby, and enhanced contact tracing is in place across England. Government Ministers are also considering a range of options which could include bringing forward second vaccine doses for eligible groups

To help identify variant cases, surge testing is already being deployed in 15 areas across England to suppress transmission, with more than 800,000 additional PCR test kits distributed. Over 200 existing test sites and 130 schools have distributed test kits, with mobile testing units deployed to provide PCR testing for people without symptoms.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “It is imperative we all continue to be vigilant, and if you live in one of the 15 areas where we’ve introduced surge testing, make sure you get a free PCR test.”

The public is being urged to continue to take up the offer of 2 free rapid tests a week, to help identify asymptomatic cases. Those testing positive are encouraged to take a follow up PCR test, which can be sent for genome sequencing to help catch new variant cases.

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HDA UK Media and Political Bulletin – 17 May 2021

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

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