- Six new Member States (Armenia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Luxembourg, Iceland, and Indonesia) reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
- The continued increase in the number of cases and the number of affected countries over the last few days are clearly of concern. WHO epidemiologists have been monitoring developments continuously, and have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at the global level.
- Containment of COVID-19 is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries. With early, containment measures, countries can stop transmission and save lives.
- Every country must be ready for the “three Cs” scenarios – first case, first cluster, first evidence of community transmission and for dealing with sustained community transmission.
- There are three priorities for country readiness: 1) protecting health workers; 2) engage communities to protect people who are most at risk; 3) protect countries that are the most vulnerable, by doing our utmost to contain epidemics in countries with the capacity to do it.
Advice and Resources from WHO:
- To countries on how to identify people sick with the virus, how to care for them, and how to prevent spread. www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus and implement
- Global surveillance of COVID-19 https://www.who.int/publications-detail/global-surveillance-for-human-infection-with-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov).
- For individuals on how to protect themselves and others, including on the safe home care for patients with suspected COVID-19 infection. The advice includes protecting others from coughs and sneezes, hand cleaning, food safety and best practices at markets. www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus. There are many videos for public education https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/videos
- On travel and for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice
- To businesses and employers to make sure they implement containment measures at workplaces – PDF attached
- Keeping countries and the general public informed: WHO is also informing the public through daily situation reports and dashboards displaying real-time data: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
- Helping countries prepare: The Strategic Preparedness and Response plan (SPRP) outlines the support the international community can provide to all countries to prepare and respond to the virus:
- Training: developing and publishing real-time knowledge through online courses on how to detect, prevent, respond to and control the new coronavirus COVID-19 on OpenWHO.org. Please take time out and review these – they are short and very informative
- UNCMT: The UN activated a Crisis Management Team (CMT) on the COVID-19 outbreak, led by Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme as the Crisis Manager. The CMT brings together WHO, OCHA, IMO (International Maritime Organization), UNICEF, ICAO, WFP, FAO, the World Bank and others UN entities.
Please help in sharing the right information and fighting the infodemic that is fueling stigma and discrimination that is a bigger threat to the response
Only one case reported till date who has fully recovered
Situation in Sri Lanka
Given the increase in number of local transmission in multiple countries, the risk of importation and establishment of local transmission remains high. The Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine Services is on high alert and all possible containment measures are in place. The national preparedness and response plan for immediate needs has been done. A detailed plan is currently being finalized. The key areas of focus continue to be surveillance, lab capacity, Infection Prevention and Control, case management especially upgrading of facilities in 17 identified hospitals, risk communication and coordination across sectors.
The UN Crisis Management team was called by UNRC last week and once the national preparedness and response plan is finalized, the CMT would discuss further with the MOH for coordinated support to the preparedness and response to COVID-19 in Sri Lanka