Coronavirus – Government Replies about the benefits of the use of drugs used to treat malaria and HIV, and Tocilizumab in the treatment of severe cases of interstitial pneumonia linked to COVID-19; the current availability of ventilators in NHS intensive care units, and production capacity to supply further ventilators; the threat to food supplies; the sale of Nigerian bushmeat to China; and the World Health Organisation’s foolish political decision, following Communist China’s orders, to ban Taiwan from membership.


 

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2795):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following their decision to ban the parallel export of drugs used to treat malaria and HIV, whether UK stocks of such medicines are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19; and if so, what (1) clinical evidence has been gathered, and (2) conclusions have been reached, about the efficacy of such treatment. (HL2795)

Tabled on: 23 March 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

United Kingdom stocks of medicines to treat malaria and HIV are being trialled for use on patients with COVID-19.

There are suggestions in the Chinese and French literature that both lopinavir/ritonavir and chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine may be beneficial. However, these data are not conclusive, because the studies done are too small, thus the findings, whilst promising, may ultimately be wrong.

The UK will evaluate both these treatments in two large randomised trials, one of which is already underway and the other of which is expected to begin recruitment next week.

Date and time of answer: 02 Apr 2020 at 16:31.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2794):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports about the success of using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, following a study carried out by Professor Raoult, director of the Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire de Marseille. (HL2794)

Tabled on: 23 March 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Department is considering carefully all available evidence around the potential of different medicines for use in treating COVID-19. Clinical trials are ongoing and being developed to assess the benefits of a number of different medicines in treating COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is not currently licensed to treat COVID-19 related symptoms or prevent infection. Clinical trials are being established to test hydroxychloroquine as an agent in the treatment of COVID-19. These clinical trials are still not completed, so no conclusions have yet been reached on the safety and effectiveness of this medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Date and time of answer: 02 Apr 2020 at 16:23.

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Government Replies about the benefits of the use of Tocilizumab in the treatment of severe cases of interstitial pneumonia linked to COVID-19; the current availability of ventilators in NHS intensive care units, and production capacity to supply further ventilators

Tocilizumab

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2601):

Question Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the benefits of the use of Tocilizumab in the treatment of severe cases of interstitial pneumonia linked to COVID-19 in China and Italy; and what plans they have to make that drug available on the NHS. (HL2601)

Tabled on: 16 March 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Department is considering carefully all available evidence around the potential of different medicines for use in treating COVID-19. Clinical trials are being developed to assess the benefits of a number of different medicines in treating COVID-19. Further medicines may be trialled should evidence indicate to the Department that this would be an appropriate course of action. The Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Public Health England and the National Health Service are working together to ensure that trials can begin as soon as possible. The first trial in the United Kingdom for hospitalised patients should begin later this week.

Date and time of answer: 31 Mar 2020 at 11:12.

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ventilators

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2600):

Question Lord Alton of Liverpool:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the (1) current availability of ventilators in NHS intensive care units, and (2) production capacity, to supply further ventilators in line with the planned increase in their use. (HL2600)

 

Tabled on: 16 March 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The National Health Service has world-renowned critical care facilities which includes access to around 5,000 adult and 900 paediatric critical care ventilators, with further ventilators available outside of critical care facilities.

Work preparing the NHS has been ongoing and we have already nearly doubled ventilator capacity. New and existing suppliers are being asked to build as many as they can. The Prime Minister has issued a call to United Kingdom industry to produce additional ventilators and the Department asked appropriate potential manufacturers on 13 March to come forward with proposals for new ventilation machines. Around a dozen potential prototypes have now been presented to the Department which we are currently pursuing.

Date and time of answer: 31 Mar 2020 at 11:12.

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food crisis,jpg

Why doesn’t Britain value its farmers? If food stocks and supply chains run low then perhaps we will learn again the importance of food security and the importance of farming, agriculture and horticulture….Read this telling article:

https://unherd.com/2020/03/why-doesnt-britain-value-its-farmers/

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Bushmeat Markets In Nigeria: Letter sent to UK Government Ministers March 30th 

Re wildlife and bushmeat markets in Nigeria and the sale of bushmeat to China –

 

I write regarding the trade in pangolins and other bushmeat in markets throughout Nigeria.

 

At the beginning of February, Chinese scientists identified pangolins as a likely source of the coronavirus, and the government of China closed down the wildlife markets where pangolins were sold.

 

Nigeria is one of the leading sources of China’s pangolins, and throughout Nigeria the sale of pangolins and other bushmeat continues. This represents a major threat to public health.

 

Unfortunately, Nigeria has lax enforcement of its laws regarding bushmeat.

 

It seems futile for the UK to be sending aid to Nigeria – £900,000 each day –  if the country’s own public health authorities are doing so little to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

 

I would  urge you to please press the Nigerian Government to close down wildlife and bushmeat markets and to vigorously enforce its public health laws against the trade in wildlife and bushmeat.

 

Your officials will find the relevant information here:

https://qz.com/africa/1823783/coronavirus-nigeria-not-stopping-pangolin-trade-trafficking/

 

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Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has called on the World Health Organisation to facilitate Taiwan’s full participation and contribution to the WHO.  It is shameful that for political reasons, and to appease Communist China, the WHO denies 23 million people access to the institution charged  with global oversight of health issues. This blatantly disregards the WHO’s own Charter and, as the Coronavirus pandemic has illustrated, this is not a moment to pursue ideology rather than humanitarian ideals.

https://www.mofa.gov.tw/en/News_Content.aspx?n=1EADDCFD4C6EC567&s=506FD04141AAC6DD

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