The report on quarterly epidemiological data on Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), Escherichia coli bacteraemia (ECB), Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB), and surgical site infection (SSI) in Scotland, July to September (Q3) 2020, was published on 12 January 2021, under the mandatory programmes for surveillance of CDI, ECB, SAB, and SSI in Scotland. Please note that data for SSI are not included due to the pausing of surveillance to support the COVID-19 response.
This report provides data for the third quarter of 2020 in 14 NHS boards and one NHS special health board. In addition, an appendix can also be accessed which details all cases and denominator data for each NHS board and overall for Scotland.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises British nationals against all but essential travel, exempting some countries that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk for British travellers. This advice is being kept under constant review and may change at short notice.
The fitfortravel (for the general public) and TRAVAX (for health professionals) country pages have been updated to include a COVID-19 country specific risk-rating, with every country being identified as high, moderate or low risk and each rating accompanied by appropriate travel advice. This information will be listed in the ‘Alerts’ section on each country page of fitfortravel and the 'Emerging Health Risks' section of every TRAVAX country page. This risk-rating is based on a robust public health assessment of the COVID-19 risks for travellers to each country and is regularly reviewed.
In January 2021, the COVID-19 risk for UK travellers was increased in the following five countries:
- Cayman Islands.
The COVID-19 risk rating and travel advice from the FCDO is being kept under constant review and may change at short notice. All travellers are advised to continue following sensible precautions and consider the following sources of information listed below.
Advice for travellers
Before planning or booking international travel, please check:
Information relating to travel and COVID-19 is available on the TRAVAX (for healthcare practitioners) and fitfortravel (for the public) websites.
Information on COVID-19 for the general public is available on the NHS Inform (Scotland) and the NHS.UK (rest of the UK) websites.
Information and resources on COVID-19 for health professionals is available on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) (Scotland) and Public Health England (PHE) (rest of the UK) websites.
On 8 January 2021, the UK Government and the Scottish Government both published statements concerning pre-departure coronavirus testing. Travellers arriving in England and Scotland from international destinations, including returning UK nationals, will soon be required to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival. This measure is being introduced to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.
The COVID-19 test must be undertaken a maximum of 72 hours prior to arrival back into England and Scotland. Travellers will have to make arrangements in the destination country to access testing. This measure is in addition to the need to self-isolate on return to the UK from countries not on the quarantine exemption (travel corridor) list.
Source: TRAVAX, 8 January 2021
On 30 December 2020, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported three new cases of polio in Sierra Leone, one each in the Western Area, Northern, and North Western regions. These are the first polio cases in the country.
Advice for travellers
- Poliomyelitis is spread mainly through person-to-person contact via the faecal-oral route.
- Travellers should be offered a booster dose of poliomyelitis vaccine if it has been more than ten years since their last dose.
Further information is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 5 January 2021
The year 2020 was an unprecedented one for the World Health Organization's European Region (WHO Europe), with COVID-19 dominating the WHO’s work around the world. Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge was officially appointed WHO Regional Director for Europe, and at the 70th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, the European Programme of Work 2020-2025 was adopted by member states. The WHO has published a timeline infographic, which looks back at some key moments of the last year, highlighting achievements across the region as well as some specific country initiatives.
The Scottish Government has announced plans to distribute take-home Naloxone kits to people at high risk of accidental overdoses, in a move designed to reduce the number of drug deaths. This will include those who have been resuscitated by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) following an accidental overdose.
SAS crews responded to around 5,000 incidents in which Naloxone, an opiate antidote, was administered in 2019. The kits, which can reduce the risk of a fatal overdose from opiates, will be distributed by SAS in a programme funded by the Drug Deaths Taskforce. Those at risk of witnessing a future opiate overdose, such as family and carer groups, will be given a kit and training in how to administer it.
Source: Scottish Government, 6 January 2021
The European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) has published new guidance concerning the information applicants need to provide when requesting a renewal of authorisation for feed additives.
Feed additives, for use in animal nutrition in the EU, are authorised for ten years. Subsequent authorisation renewals must submit a new request showing that the additive remains safe for the target species, consumers, users, and the environment under the conditions of the authorisation. Unless the applicant proposes changes to the additive, such as altering its manufacturing process or composition, or amending the conditions of the authorisation, such as different target species or conditions of use, the process to renew the application should be more straightforward than the original authorisation.
Source: EFSA, 7 January 2021