latest covid-19 situation report

MAY,  2021

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Content provided by W.H.O​ (www.who.int) Note: Content, including the the headline, may have been edited for style and length.

WHO is supporting the surge for COVID-19 services and supplies in India. WHO in collaboration with Téchne and Emergency Medical Team (EMT) has conducted a rapid assessment and design development initiative to reinforce current service capacity in India, specifically for remote areas with limited health service availability.

The technical report helps the country easily and rapidly setup COVID-19 treatment centres using high performance tents. The proposed tent layout enables quick setup of a centre with an initial bed capacity of 32 with the ability to gradually surge up to 64 and 96 according to needs and management capacity.

WHO has delivered 4041 oxygen concentrators to India in recent days and 108 tents. WHO also published two key documents to accompany supplies: a Home Care Bundle for Mild COVID-19 to support health workers to safely care for mild patients at home and to alert them when to refer to a hospital and Oxygen Safety Posters (1,2,3) to ensure safe handling and distribution. WHO also launched an Oxygen Access Scale Up page on the website to bring together all related content in a user-friendly manner.

Strengthening ambulance services as part of the emergency response in Syria.

In responding to the humanitarian needs of affected populations and to enhance the quality of health care in Syria, WHO delivered 40 equipped ambulances to the Ministry of Health on 9 May 2021. Since the onset of the humanitarian crisis, two thirds of the ambulances in Syria have been destroyed, which has impeded the ability of the emergency services to respond effectively, leading to a critical gap in referral services during COVID 19 and causing affected populations to experience life threatening delays in obtaining emergency health services. “The ambulances, which will be put into service immediately, will enhance the emergency health system that has been devastated by attacks against health facilities. While further assistance is required to strengthen emergency services, I would like to convey my appreciation to the WHO country office in Syria and to Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean” said Dr Hasan Al Ghabbash the Syrian Minister of Health.

The need for referral services has become critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which it has become increasingly important to coordinate medical referrals from hospitals where beds are fully occupied to hospitals with available beds and sufficient workforce capacity. This delivery will enhance the ability of public health services to respond to medical emergencies and provide timely referrals for patients with severe and life threatening conditions, especially for people living in hard to reach areas or those notable to afford transportation. The delivery of ambulances will support strengthening Syria’s emergency response capacity, including for COVID-19. This is part of a larger strategy to strengthen the public health emergency operations centre (PHEOC), established in Damascus in 2020 with the support of WHO. In early May, together with all governorates and the Ministry of Health, WHO conducted a meeting to build capacity and envision a network of emergency operations centres connecting the governorates across the country to enhance coordination of an effective response to public health emergencies.

Where Contact Tracing Meets Risk Communication and Community Engagement in Kosovo.

On 6 May, close to 100 primary care doctors and nurses from Kosovo attended a training on COVID-19 contact tracing organized and delivered by WHO. The training emphasized the key principles and basic steps in contact tracing for COVID-19 as well as the importance of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) as an integrated part of contact tracing. In addition to the basics, the training included a simulation exercise on the dialogue between a contact tracer and a reluctant COVID 19 close contact. The simulation and role play illustrated to participants how barriers to participating in contact tracing may be overcome through principles of building trust and empathy through open and honest conversations.

The training was delivered as part of an ongoing initiative to increase the contact tracing  workforce in Kosovo where contact tracing has been implemented from the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Institute of Public Health and its regional branches, with support from WHO. Past support in establishing contact tracing and outbreak investigation in Kosovo has included the deployment of Go.Data, a software tool that is used to facilitate outbreak investigation including field data collection, contact tracing and visualization of chains of transmission. It is expected that the training will lead to an increased and more resilient contact tracing workforce that is able to respond to fluctuations in the number of COVID-19 cases and ensure that effective contact tracing continues to break chains of transmission and prevent further infections. With this training, contact tracers have been provided with essential tools for building trust and engaging in open and transparent dialogues with cases and contacts.

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Content provided by W.H.O​ (www.who.int) Note: Content, including the the headline, may have been edited for style and length.

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