Coronavirus | SARS-CoV2 | COVID-19

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WHO has published a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Progress Report. The report highlights the progress made from 1 February to 30 June 2020 under the three objectives outlined in the Strategic Response and Preparedness Plan: scaling up international coordination and support; scaling up country preparedness and response by pillar; and accelerating research and innovation.

WHO has published a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Progress Report. The report highlights the progress made from 1 February to 30 June 2020 under the three objectives outlined in the Strategic Response and Reparedness Plan: scaling up international coordination and support, scaling up country preparedness and response by pillar and accelerating research and innovation. The report also discusses some of the key challenges faced, and provides an update on the resource requirements for the next phase of WHO’s response.

The fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding COVID-19 was convened by the WHO Director-General on 31 July 2020. The Director-General declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The recommendations from the Emergency Committee highlight the need for response effortsto continue over the long term.

In his regular media briefing, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros highlighted the high rates of COVID-19 in longterm care facilities, drawing attention to a recently published WHO policy brief. Dr Tedros also reminded us that COVID-19 is not only a disease that affectsthe elderly and that “young people must take the same precautions to protect themselves and protect others as everyone else. They can be leaders – they should be leaders and drivers of change.”

In the Amazonian region, ensuring access to health services for indigenous populations is a priority. WHO Regional Office for the Americas met virtually with representatives from indigenous organizationstogether with the Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) and called for the “strengthening of health care services in the Amazon through the provision of human resources, supplies and medical devices, including tests, as well as treatments and vaccines when they are available”.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe urges Turkmenistan to activate critical measures to prepare for COVID-19 outbreaks. To date, Turkmenistan has not reported any confirmed COVID-19 cases to WHO, however, the country has recently activated measures to prevent the transmission of respiratory infections within communities.

WHO has published an interim guidance on Considerations for implementing mass treatment, active case‐ finding and population-based surveys for neglected tropical diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The document proposes a two-step approach: a risk–benefit assessment, to decide if the planned neglected tropical diseases activity should proceed, and a review of a list of precautionary measures, to decide how the planned activity should be implemented.

This Thursday it will be six months since WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. At today’s press briefing WHO Director-General Dr Tedros reiterated the basic measures that are needed to suppress transmission and save lives --to find, isolate, test and care for cases; and trace and quarantine their contacts.“Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they’re not, cases go up”.

WHO has published an interim guidance on safe Eid al Adha practices in the context of COVID-19. The document highlights public health advice for social gatherings and religious practices that can be applied across different national contexts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected older people disproportionately, especially those living in long-term care facilities. WHO has published a policy brief on preventing and managing COVID-19 across long-term care services.

Dr Tedros, in his media briefing yesterday, reminded people not to let their guard down ‘we will not be going back to the “old normal”. The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives. Part of adjusting to the “new normal” is finding ways to live our lives safely.’

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