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Research Papers

Synopsis: Below you will find details of Research Publications which have been prepared by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) for the Ad Hoc Committee on the COVID-19 Response in 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Health and Social Care Workforce

- Date: 25/06/2020

This paper has been produced to support the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee and the Health Committee with their scrutiny of the pandemic response. The paper will focus on the psychological wellbeing of health and social care staff who have been working on the frontline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It will look to evidence from previous pandemics to identify potential risk factors for adverse mental health outcomes and examine emerging local and international evidence from the current crisis. The paper will also explore how decision makers can support the mental health of their workforce as well as interventions being introduced across the UK to assist staff in managing their wellbeing.

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The Use of Digital Measures to Combat COVID-19

- Date: 26/05/2020

This paper has been produced to support the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee and the Health Committee with their scrutiny of the pandemic response. The purpose of this paper is to provide information for the health committee on the use of digital measures aimed at combating the novel coronavirus COVID-19, specifically contact tracing apps and the use of ‘big data’. The paper will examine the current and potential uses of both types of measures at various stages of the pandemic as well as the technical and ethical challenges that they present. The focus of this paper will be on the use of these measures in a European and UK context with reference to international experiences where appropriate.

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‘Exit’ From COVID-19 ‘Lockdown’: Health-Related Issues

- Date: 20/05/2020

This paper has been produced to support the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee and the Health Committee with their scrutiny of the pandemic response. It discusses a number of factors relating to the spread of infectious disease to be borne in mind when considering measures to control the virus going forward. This includes the impact of infectious dose, viral load and asymptomatic cases and the relationship between the ‘lockdown’ and the ‘R’ number of the virus. It then goes on to review a range of health-related measures and actions related to easing the ‘lockdown’.

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COVID-19: Testing for Sars-CoV-2 in the UK; and the Use of Testing and Contact Tracing in Selected Countries

- Date: 04/05/2020

This briefing paper has been prepared to assist the Health Committee and COVID-19 Committee with their scrutiny of the COVID-19 testing strategies in the UK to date by reviewing testing in the UK and in a selection of other countries. The paper highlights the importance of both timely testing and contact tracing (manual tracing and ICT developments) to drive suppression of transmission of the virus to a low-level, to enable or maintain parts of economic and social life.

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COVID-19: The use of Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators

- Date: 02/04/2020

This Briefing Paper has been prepared to support the NI Assembly Ad-Hoc COVID-19 Committee. It provides information on the role of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in infection control measures including an overview of current guidelines relating to their use. The paper will also look at the use of ventilators in supportive therapies to treat COVID-19 patients. Lastly, the paper will explore how shortages of PPE and Ventilators are a major global issue of the ongoing pandemic and will examine actions taken by the UK government to increase supplies in the face of these shortages.

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COVID-19: Background, Public Health Measures and Testing for SARS-CoV-2

- Date: 02/04/2020

This Briefing Paper has been prepared to support the NI Assembly Ad-Hoc COVID-19 Committee. It provides some introductory background information on COVID-19 and then focuses on the policies and actions taken in the UK and other selected countries regarding tackling the pandemic, focusing on public health measures and testing of individuals.

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