Coronavirus | SARS-CoV2 | COVID-19



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WHO has published a surveillance protocol for SARS-CoV-2 infection among health workers. This is a technical tool that countries can use to better understand the characteristics and exposure risks of health workers infected with COVID-19. 

WHO has published an interim guidance on the clinical management of COVID-19. This guidance document is intended for clinicians caring for COVID-19 patients during all phases of their disease. 

A scientific brief has been published by WHO investigating any association between smoking and an increased risk for COVID-19. At the time of this review, the available evidence suggests that in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, smoking is associated with increased severity of disease and death. 

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, in his regular media briefing, mentioned that “over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries” as part of the Solidarity Trial which was established to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19. 

The United Kingdom will contribute $3.8m for the COVID-19 response in the Caribbean. The financial contribution to the WHO Regional Office for the Americas will help Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines contain the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, in his regular media briefing on 22 May, thanked all those who contributed to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. The Fund, launched with the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, has so far raised more than U$214 million from more than 375,000 individuals, corporations and foundations.

WHO has updated a document on Operational Planning Guidelines to Support Country Preparedness and Response. The document provides a practical guide that can be used by national authorities to develop and update their COVID-19 national plans across the major pillars of COVID-19 preparedness and response.

WHO has launched a new search feature for questions on COVID-19. WHO’s COVID-19 webpage now features an enhanced natural language processing search bar, which understands questions posed in everyday language and more accurately delivers answers to those queries.

The WHO World Health Assembly has ended with a global commitment to the COVID-19 response. Delegates adopted a landmark resolution to bring the world together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO Regional Director for the Americas Dr Carissa F. Etienne highlighted that addressing COVID-19 will require protecting vulnerable groups including women, underprivileged populations, indigenous populations and migrants, by addressing health, social and economic inequalities.

In his opening remarks at the World Health Assembly, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros declared: ‘We have come together as the nations of the world to confront the defining health crisis of our time.’ In concluding he asserted that the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that we need a healthier, safer and fairer world with a stronger WHO to support this goal.  

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