From Our Bureau                              


The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic situation remained grim globally, with the confirmed cases across the world soaring to 1,73,96,943 and the death toll rising to  6,75,060 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 93,20,330 confirmed cases and 3,55,217 deaths. Europe came next with 33,57,465 confirmed cases and 2,12,978 deaths. South-East Asia region’s tally stood at 20,72,194 confirmed cases and 44,900 deaths.

Eastern Mediterranean region reported 15,44,994 confirmed cases and 40,019 deaths. African region registered 7,88,448 confirmed cases and 13,545 deaths. Western Pacific region recorded 3,12,771 confirmed cases and 8,388 deaths. WHO Risk Assessment at global level remained very high.

The fourth meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding COVID-19 was convened by the WHO Director-General on 31st July 2020. The Director-General declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The recommendations from the Emergency Committee highlight the need for response efforts to continue over the long term.

WHO has updated the interim guidance on Water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), and waste management for SARS-CoV-2. The document provides additional details on risks associated with excreta and untreated sewage, on hand hygiene, on protecting WASH workers and on supporting the continuation and strengthening of WASH services, especially in underserved areas.

WHO has published a draft for Target Product Profiles (TPP) for COVID-19 therapeutics. The three sets of TPPs describe the preferred and minimally acceptable profiles for therapeutic agents for the treatment of those with COVID-19, ranging from mild through critically ill patients.

For World Breastfeeding Week, WHO and UNICEF are calling on governments to protect and promote women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling. This is a critical component of breastfeeding support and, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important to find innovative solutions to ensure that access to these essential services is not disrupted. (eom)

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