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The remarkable transition general practitioners have made to predominantly remote and telephone consultations is to be applauded. Yet this has brought its own challenges which may have meant that less serious health conditions have gone untreated. Many patients will have had understandable fears about the risk of infection or burdening the health service. Others may lack the digital access or skills to join a remote appointment.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic we are reminded that infectious diseases are not a thing of the past but a very real threat to millions of people globally. Tuberculosis (TB), caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is the biggest killer by a single bacterial pathogen, causing over 10 million people to fall ill and 1.5 million people to die from TB each year.
You have to hand it to the Premier League, their response to the coronavirus pandemic has been outstandingly successful. On 17th June, three months after the start of the UK lockdown in March 2020, they resumed playing and have not stopped since. Many of us are facing ever increasing restrictions to our social and professional lives, but when Tottenham meets Liverpool on Thursday, 11 players plus substitutes and a considerable number of staff will have travelled half the country for what is effectively a close contact mass gathering for our entertainment.
The global community is certainly in a very different place for this year’s World AIDS Day. We are facing the colliding impacts of two of the biggest epidemics of our time: HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.