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A WHO survey has found that access to HIV medicines has been severely impacted by COVID-19. Seventy-three countries have warned that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the survey conducted ahead of the International AIDS Society’s biannual conference.

COVID-19 has changed our life: disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and personal protective equipment (PPE) have become tools in the fight against virus transmission. Most of these products contain chemicals. A webinar is being held tomorrow during which speakers will share the preliminary analysis of the chemical impact [of using these products] and outline recommendations to ensure the safety of chemical products being used to stop the spreading of the virus. 

WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasaispoke of a ‘new normal’, one that improves both health and livelihoods during a virtual press conference with the World Economic Forum on COVID-19. He added “This ‘new future’ is the dividend of COVID-19 which WHO hopes for.”

The UN Secretary-General, Mr António Guterresin his remarks to the Security Council on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security warned that the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting peace and security around the world. He stated that “Collective security and our shared well-being are under assault on many fronts led by a relentless disease and abetted by global fragilities.” 

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros and WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge addressed the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on the global response to COVID-19. “The EU is in a unique position to provide global leadership in defining the ‘new normal’ as part of the global recovery,” Dr Tedros said, though he cautioned parliamentarians that, globally, the situation “is still getting worse.”

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros has emphasized the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to responding to the pandemic -- “Not testing alone. Not physical distancing alone. Not contact tracing alone. Not masks alone. Do it all”, he said during yesterday’s regular media briefing.

It has never been clearer that communication is an important public health intervention that contributes to controlling pandemics. The WHO Regional Office for Europe discusses this and the risks of an “infodemic” – an overabundance of information, some of which can be misleading or even harmful. WHO launched the first Infodemiology conference on 29 June, which includes talks with experts on how the infodemic affects the world and reflections on how it can be managed. 

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian emergency and the already vulnerable people of Yemen are facing the added threat of COVID-19. This new burden on medical facilities could result in a catastrophic death toll. WHO and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre have joined forces to ensure access to healthcare for the vulnerable in remote areas through the provision of a minimum service package. 

Today we document a somber landmark: 10 million cases and nearly 500000 deaths of COVID-19 have now been reported globally. This comes amidst recent record numbers of new cases, with several countries reporting their highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period. As some countries start to reopen their societies and economies, WHO strongly encourages individuals, communities, and nations to take measures to reduce transmission, extend testing and contact tracing, and provide optimal care for every case. WHO has published advice for the public and an extensive range of guidance documents, and is working across the globe to support countriesin the response to the pandemic. 

Today we report a record number of new cases in the last 24 hours globally (189 077 cases), with several countriesreporting theirhighest number of new casesin a 24-hourperiod.

The phenomenon of an ‘infodemic’ has escalated to a level that requires a coordinated response. An infodemic is an overabundance of information–some accurate and some not–occurring during an epidemic. 

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a global initiative between multiple partners to ensure equitable access to life-saving tools for COVID-19. WHO has published the ACT-Accelerator Investment Case, which provides an overview of the ACT-Accelerator, its goals, and the investments that are required to carry out its mission. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros emphasized that “vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics are vital tools – but to be truly effective they must be administered with another essential ingredient, which is solidarity”.

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