EMERGENCIES :: Coronavirus [COVID-19]


Coronavirus [COVID-19]
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Statement on the third meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
1 May 2020 Statement
Geneva, Switzerland
The third meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), took place on Thursday, 30 April 2020, from 12:00 to 17:45 Geneva time (CEST)…

The WHO Regional Emergency Directors and the Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) provided regional and the global situation overview. After ensuing discussion, the Committee unanimously agreed that the outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and offered advice to the Director-General.

The Director-General declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to constitute a PHEIC. He accepted the advice of the Committee to WHO and issued the Committee’s advice to States Parties as Temporary Recommendations under the IHR.

The Emergency Committee will be reconvened within three months or earlier, at the discretion of the Director-General. The Director-General thanked the Committee for its work…


Editor’s Note:
We certainly recognize the velocity of global developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have concentrated the most current key reports just below, COVID-19 announcements, analysis and commentary will be found throughout this issue, in all sections.
Beyond the considerable continuing coverage in the global general media, the WHO’s authoritative guidance is available here:
:: Daily WHO situation reports here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
:: WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) daily press briefings here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/media-resources/press-briefings

Situation report – 103 [WHO]

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
2 May 2020
Situation in numbers (by WHO Region)
Total (new cases in last 24 hours)
Globally 3 267 184 cases (91 977) 229 971 deaths (5799)
Africa 27 973 cases (1310) 1013 deaths (40)
Americas 1 340 591 cases (48 674) 72 196 deaths (3109)
E Mediterranean 194 991 cases (6406) 7741 deaths (143)
Europe 1 492 024 cases (30 620) 140 586 deaths (2386)
South-East Asia 60 490 cases (3402) 2256 deaths (82)
Western Pacific 150 403 cases (1565) 6166 deaths (39)

:: No new country/territory/area reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

:: WHO and the European Investment Bank yesterday signed a collaboration agreement to accelerate investment in health preparedness and primary healthcare in countries most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase will strengthen primary healthcare in ten African countries. The Director-General Dr. Tedros, in his regular media briefing yesterday said that, with the signing of the agreement, “We are deepening our relationship with the European Union”. He also reminded all that the European Commission will host a pledging conference on 4 May to raise funds for investment in vaccine research.


Ethics and COVID-19: resource allocation and priority-setting
WHO Working Group on Ethics and COVID-19
20 April 2020 :: 5 pages
Governments, international agencies and health systems have an obligation to ensure, to the best of their ability, adequate provision of health care for all. However, this may not be possible during a pandemic, when health resources are likely to be limited. Setting priorities and rationing resources in this context means making tragic choices, but these tragic choices can be ethically justified. This is why we have ethics. This policy brief answers a number of questions about the ethics of setting priorities for the allocation of resources during times of scarcity. Such decisions may include access to hospitals, ventilators, vaccines and medicines. It is essential that policies and practices are ethically justified in such contexts. The document provides a high-level ethical framework that can be used to guide decision-making, and complements WHO’s technical guidance.