From Our Bureau

5th MAY 2020                            

The Corona Virus (CPVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 35,17,345 and the death toll reaching 2,43,401 in the 215 affected countries and territories, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Globally, European region continued to be the worst-hit, with 15,66,84 confirmed cases and 1,45,602 deaths. American region came next with 14,77,447 confirmed cases and 79,590 deaths. Eastern Mediterranean region reported 2,13,376 confirmed cases and 8,115 deaths.

Western Pacific region’s tally stood at 1,53,868 confirmed cases and 6,287 deaths. South-East Asia region recorded 72,688 confirmed cases and 2,682 deaths and African region witnessed 32,570  confirmed cases and 1,112 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

Every year on May 5, WHO celebrates Hand Hygiene Day to mobilize people around the world to increase adherence to hand hygiene practices in healthcare facilities. In his media briefing, the WHO Director-General reminded that ‘around the world, fewer than two-thirds of healthcare facilities are equipped with hand hygiene stations, and 3 billion people lack soap and water at home’.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said that ‘Effective infection prevention and control measures, including hand hygiene, are crucial to ensuring health facilities do not become hubs of COVID-19 transmission’.

A WHO COVID-19 mission has arrived in Tajikistan to support the country’s response to the pandemic.

Today also marks the International Day of the Midwife. Midwives provide life-saving services to pregnant women, ensuring healthy outcomes for women and their babies. As the Director-General said in his media briefing, ‘They’re risking their lives to give life to others.’

Yesterday leaders from 40 countries around the world came together to support the Access to COVID19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a WHO initiative to support the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19. Some €7.4 billion were pledged, in what the Director-General described as a ‘powerful and inspiring demonstration of global solidarity’. (eom)

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