From Our Bureau    

10TH JUNE 2020

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 71,45,539 and the death toll reaching 4,08,025 in the 216 affected countries and territories, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Globally, American region turned to be the worst-hit with 34,15,174 confirmed cases and 1,85,863 deaths. Europe came next with 23,21,147 confirmed cases and 1,85,537 deaths. Eastern Mediterranean region reported 6,77,338 confirmed cases and 15,246 deaths.

South-East Asia region’s tally stood at 3,92,674 confirmed cases and 10,741 deaths. Western Pacific region recorded 1,93,178 confirmed cases and 7,132 deaths and African region registered 1,45,287 confirmed cases and 3,493 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

The WHO Regional Office for the Americas will support the Ministry of Health and the Advisory Team of the Venezuelan National Assembly to seek funds for COVID-19 Response. “COVID-19 has been a problem for most countries, but this pandemic also provides a good opportunity to pursue health as a bridge to peace,” observed Dr Carissa F. Etienne, the Regional Director for the Americas.

Dr Carissa F. Etienne has also noted, “In South America, our response to the pandemic will be impacted by the arrival of winter, while hurricane season will complicate our efforts in North and Central America, and especially in the Caribbean.” The region needs to prepare to combat the effects of winter and hurricanes on COVID-19 response.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe is coordinating a large-scale COVID-19 response operation in Tajikistan, involving emergency medical teams (EMTs) and mobile laboratories. As part of the operation, WHO will mobilize medical and laboratory specialists from Germany, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom, who will be deployed to Tajikistan during the coming weeks, upon request from the government.

Subject in Focus: WHO Operations Support and Logistics update on supplies for COVID-19 support

Personal protective equipment supplies

To date, WHO has shipped more than 5 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 112 countries.

Through the PPE purchasing consortium, WHO has secured large volumes of PPE and is currently in the process of shipping more than 149 million additional items to 138 countries, including a donation of 100 million medical masks and one million N95 respirators from the Jack Ma Foundation.

With South America and the Caribbean emerging as new centres of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO is prioritizing shipping a massive volume of PPE (6 000 m3 ) to its Regional Office for the Americas for distribution to countries in the region. About 24.7 million PPE items procured by WHO are being allocated for shipment to the Region, along with 26 million medical masks and over 420,000 N95 respirators donated by the Jack Ma Foundation.

For the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 16.7 million PPE items are being prepared for shipping to countries in the Region.

In the European Region, 6.8 million PPE items are being shipped urgently to the priority countries of Ukraine and Belarus.


Through the diagnostics purchasing consortium, WHO has received commitments from suppliers for 16 million manual PCR tests.

To date, WHO has placed orders for 4 million manual PCR tests and 5.3 million sample collection kits. These are currently being produced and prepared for shipment. Shipments have begun last week, with the remaining quantities to be dispatched over the coming weeks.

Through the same consortium, suppliers have made available 3.8 million automated tests for UNICEF to procure. To date, UNICEF has placed orders for more than one million tests and delivered 216 000 tests to 34 countries. Another 226,000 tests are en route to 30 countries.

Biomedical Equipment

Through the BioMed consortium, WHO has placed orders for 14,000 oxygen concentrators and 9,700 pulse oximeters, which are being prepared for shipment.

Also, through the consortium, UNICEF has placed orders for 10,000 oxygen concentrators, with 6,000 being prepared for shipment.

The World Food Programme, which is leading the distribution and shipment of supplies for the United Nations COVID-19 Supply Chain, has to date shipped 11 478 m3 of supplies to support the COVID-19 response for 27 organizations in 121 countries. (eom)

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