From Our Bureau    

27TH JUNE 2020

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 96,53,048 and the death toll reaching 4,91,128 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 48,16,794 confirmed cases and 2,38,762 deaths. Europe came next with 26,38,903 confirmed cases and 1,96,169 deaths. Eastern Mediterranean region reported 10,06,279 confirmed cases and 22,964 deaths.

South-East Asia region’s tally stood at 7,10,455 confirmed cases and 20,139 deaths. Western Pacific region recorded 2,11,774 confirmed cases and 7,408 deaths and African region registered 2,68,102 confirmed cases and 5,673 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator is a global initiative between multiple partners to ensure equitable access to life-saving tools for COVID-19. WHO has published the ACT-Accelerator Investment Case, which provides an overview of the ACT-Accelerator, its goals, and the investments that are required to carry out its mission.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized that “vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics are vital tools – but to be truly effective they must be administered with another essential ingredient, which is solidarity.”

WHO has published interim guidance on rapid hospital readiness and an accompanying checklist tool, which can be used to monitor the development of operational readiness capacity in hospitals and identify gaps that require investment and action. The checklist covers hospital governance, structures, plans and protocols to rapidly determine the current capacities of hospitals to respond to COVID-19.

WHO has also published interim guidance on biomedical equipment for COVID-19 case management and an accompanying inventory tool, which countries can use to collect in-depth facility inventories of biomedical equipment re-allocation, procurement and planning for COVID-19 case management. The tool is intended for use from the early stages of an emergency to early recovery.

In Nigeria, more than 12 000 doctors, pharmacists, medical students and other health workers are offering their expertise and time to curb the spread of COVID-19. A nurse volunteering at a hospital in Abuja has forgone time with family so as not to put her family at risk. She says few are willing to be in the frontlines of the pandemic response, but “if someone must be there, then I should be.” (eom)

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