From Our Bureau               

28TH JULY 2020    

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 1,63,41,920 and the death toll rising to  6,50,805 in the 216 affected countries and territories, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Globally, American region continued to be the worst-hit with 87,28,962 confirmed cases and 3,39,651 deaths. Europe came next with 32,61,042 confirmed cases and 2,10,897 deaths. South-East Asia region’s tally stood at 18,38,380 confirmed cases and 41,366 deaths.

Eastern Mediterranean region reported 14,94,697 confirmed cases and 38,371 deaths. African region registered 7,26,105 confirmed cases and 12,257 deaths. Western Pacific region recorded 2,91,993 confirmed cases and 8,250 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

WHO has published an interim guidance on Considerations for implementing mass treatment, active case‐finding and population-based surveys for neglected tropical diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The document proposes a two-step approach: a risk–benefit assessment, to decide if the planned neglected tropical diseases activity should proceed, and a review of a list of precautionary measures, to decide how the planned activity should be implemented.

Ethiopia vaccinates nearly 15 million children against measles despite COVID-19 challenges. The campaign’s target was 15 million children and it attained 96 percent coverage (14.4 million), showing that even with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, countries can continue to carry out life-saving mass vaccinations.

The WHO Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launched the “Stronger Together” campaign to assist communities in promoting mental wellbeing and positive coping strategies during times of stress and crisis. The awareness campaign will run until November 2020 and includes a range of promotional materials and media. (eom)

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