EMERGENCIES :: Coronavirus [COVID-19]


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

Editor’s Note:
We certainly recognize the velocity of global developments in the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have selected some key announcements and reports here and above, 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 – 124 [WHO]

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
23 May 2020
Situation in numbers (by WHO Region)
Total (new cases in last 24 hours)
Globally 5 103 006 cases (109 536) 333 401 deaths (5 663)
Africa 74 256 cases (2 504) 2 040 deaths (59)
Americas 2 282 488 cases (62 221) 135 184 deaths (3 579)
Eastern Mediterranean 402 919 cases (13 331) 10 806 deaths (158)
Europe 1 987 657 cases (21 413) 172 958 deaths (1 631)
South-East Asia 182 278 cases (9 119) 5 556 deaths (209)
Western Pacific 172 696 cases (948) 6 844 deaths (27)

:: WHO has published a COVID-19 Monitoring and Evaluation Framework listing the key public health and essential health services and systems indicators to monitor preparedness, response, and situations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
:: WHO has updated a document on Operational Planning Guidelines to Support Country Preparedness and Response. The document provides a practical guide that can be used by national authorities to develop and update their COVID-19 national plans across the major pillars of COVID-19 preparedness and response.
:: WHO published an interim guidance on Framework for decision-making: implementation of mass vaccination campaigns in the context of COVID-19. The document describes the principles to consider when deliberating the implementation of mass vaccination campaigns for prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases and high impact diseases (VPD/HID), and when assessing risks and benefits of conducting outbreak-response vaccination campaigns to respond to VPD/HID outbreaks.
:: WHO has published an interim guidance on Controlling the spread of COVID-19 at ground crossings advising countries to reduce the spread of COVID-19 resulting from travel, transportation, and trade on and around ground crossings


Ebola – DRC+


Ebola – DRC+
Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Ebola Outbreak in DRC 93: 19 May 2020
Situation Update WHO Health Emergencies Programme Page 2
From 11 to 17 May 2020, there have been no new confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) reported in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since the resurgence of the outbreak on 10 April 2020, seven confirmed cases have been reported from Kasanga, Malepe and Kanzulinzuli Health Areas in Beni Health Zone. So far, no definitive source of infection has been identified…

Despite the launch of the 42-day countdown, efforts to retrieve the missing confirmed case and investigations into the origin of the latest cluster are still ongoing. Given the long duration and large magnitude of the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a risk of re-emergence of the virus during the lead up to the declaration of the end of the outbreak, and for several months following that declaration. In the coming weeks and months, it is crucial to maintain a strong and robust surveillance system in order to detect, isolate, test and treat new suspected cases as early as possible, to improve outcome of potential cases, and to break new chains of transmission. Maintaining strong communication and coordination among partners, authorities and affected communities, as well as continuing support for and engagement with EVD survivors are essential in this outbreak response.




Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)

Polio this week as of 19 May 2020
:: The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the GPEI has announced the appointment of new members of a reconstituted polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB). Read more [see below]
:: This month, world leaders have joined together to make several important commitments to strengthening public health infrastructure during the COVID-19 response – investments that will go a long way in protecting the most vulnerable communities, including those affected by polio. Read more

Summary of new viruses this week (AFP cases and ES positives):
:: Afghanistan: one WPV1 positive environmental sample and five cVDPV2 cases
:: Pakistan: nine WPV1 positive environmental samples and one cVDPV2 case


TIMB Members [Transition Independent Monitoring Board]
The previous TIMB monitored the situation over a period of three years (November 2016 – December 2019), in the light of progress towards polio eradication. Its role was to independently assess the GPEI’s policy and plans to transition and sustain those polio assets and resources that have played a major dual role in underpinning wider immunisation and other essential health programmes. The TIMB members played an invaluable part in meetings and in the production of three major reports that helped to shape the polio transition process.

TIMB Reports – GPEI
With the adoption by the 71st World Health Assembly of a 5-year strategic plan for polio transition, responsibility for leading planning and implementation passed to the World Health Organization. Necessary organisational changes followed and included a new TIMB to be smaller and more closely aligned with the IMB.

Strategic Action Plan on Polio Transition – WHA 71
On the basis of the new arrangements three TIMB members have been appointed to serve under the chairmanship of Sir Liam Donaldson who will also continue to chair the IMB.
Sheila Leatherman, CBE, Hon RCP is a Professor of Global Health Policy at the Gillings School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina. Her professional experience stretches across the breadth of health care management, public health and health policy with expertise in quality of care, performance improvement in the health sector, and health systems reforms. She has worked with over 50 countries globally across North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Most of her research and policy analysis has been on developing methods to assess health system performance and advising on how to improve quality of care in countries throughout the world.
She was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2002 as a member of the Institute of Medicine. In 2007 she was awarded the honour of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth for her work in the National Health Service for over a decade and was appointed an Honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in The UK in 2008. In 2019, she received the Presidential Distinction Award of the International Society for Quality in recognition of her work in low- and medium-income countries.
Currently, as a Lead advisor to the World Health Organization she develops the academic and technical foundations for WHO support of Member States in the development of national health care quality agendas to improve health care services and outcomes globally. Her current research focuses on improving care in fragile states, humanitarian crises and conflict zones.
She serves on the Board of Advisors for Doctors Without Borders (MSF- USA) and is a Board member and health advisor to Questscope NGO working in Jordan and Syria with refugees and displaced persons.

Lola Dare is a community physician, epidemiologist, global health practitioner, development consultant, social entrepreneur and health advocate of over 30 years. She has championed the application of evidence and data for policy, evaluation and accountability by a broad range of non-state actors including civil society and community-based organisations, private sector and the media. Lola Dare has been in the forefront of advocacy for resilient, accountable rights-based health care services and systems strengthening, and has engaged with high level policy makers, parliamentarians, large donor funded programmes, national governments, intergovernmental organisations and agencies. She is the President of CHESTRAD Global, an African-led social enterprise with offices in Africa, Europe and North America. CHESTRAD Global hosts its programme headquarters in Nigeria. She has served in many roles in governance mechanisms of international agencies including the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the US National Academies for Sciences, Global Fund for Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, GAVI, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health (PMNCH), WHO technical teams and agencies of the United Nations, African Union and other African continental organisations.

Senjuti Saha is a Bangladeshi-Canadian microbiologist working at the intersection of Clinical Microbiology and Global Health as a Scientist at the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh. Her work is grounded in advancing the cause of health and research equity, based on her vision that everyone across the world should have equal access to the practice and benefits of science. The focus of her work is on paediatric preventable infectious diseases, with the goals of: (1) using state-of-the-art technology like on-site metagenomics to identify aetiologies that elude standard laboratory testing in low- and middle-income countries and (2) understanding the indirect impacts of interventions like vaccines on the overall health system. She advocates for equal access to scholarly literature and science education. The team’s mission at the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh is to break free of the vicious cycle of limited resources that lead to lack of data required for evidence-based policy decisions. This in turn leads back to limited resources; instead, the commitment is to build virtuous cycles of data-generation, that are sustainable and cost-effective.


WHO Grade 3 Emergencies [to 23 May 2020]

Democratic Republic of the Congo
:: Ebola Outbreak in DRC 93: 19 May 2020
[See Ebola above for detail]

Nigeria – No new digest announcements identified
Somalia – No new digest announcements identified
South Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Syrian Arab Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Yemen – No new digest announcements identified


WHO Grade 2 Emergencies [to 23 May 2020]
Burkina Faso [in French]
:: Riposte contre le COVID-19 au Burkina Faso : L’OMS offre au ministère de la santé un…
22 mai 2020

:: Weekly Situation Report 6 – 19 May 2020 pdf, 335kb
:: A total of 191 COVID-19 positive cases have been reported in Cox’s Bazar district (including Rohingya camps) as of 17 May 2020 as per Civil Surgeon Office, Cox’s Bazar. From the laboratory confirmed cases, the average age is 33.9 years (median 31, range 2-90) and around 75% of them are male
:: Five confirmed cases have been reported in Rohingya camps as of 17 May 2020. A total of 80 individuals are in institutional quarantine in the camps
:: Partners who are managing health facilities were briefed on “Home-based care for mild and moderate COVID-19 symptoms and isolation support” initiative on 11 May 2020. Partners expressed their willingness to support the activity in the event of widespread community transmission in the camps

Angola – No new digest announcements identified
Afghanistan – No new digest announcements identified
Burundi – No new digest announcements identified
Cameroon – No new digest announcements identified
Central African Republic – No new digest announcements identified
Ethiopia – No new digest announcements identified
Iran – No new digest announcements identified
Iraq – No new digest announcements identified
Libya – No new digest announcements identified
Malawi – No new digest announcements identified
Measles in Europe – No new digest announcements identified
MERS-CoV – No new digest announcements identified
Niger – No new digest announcements identified
occupied Palestinian territory – No new digest announcements identified
Sudan – No new digest announcements identified
Ukraine – No new digest announcements identified
Zimbabwe – No new digest announcements identified


WHO Grade 1 Emergencies [to 23 May 2020]

Chad – No new digest announcements identified
Djibouti – No new digest announcements identified
Kenya – No new digest announcements identified
Mali – No new digest announcements identified
Namibia – viral hepatitis – No new digest announcements identified
Tanzania – No new digest announcements identified


UN OCHA – L3 Emergencies
The UN and its humanitarian partners are currently responding to three ‘L3’ emergencies. This is the global humanitarian system’s classification for the response to the most severe, large-scale humanitarian crises. 
Syrian Arab Republic
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Response Update No. 04 – 18 May 2020
:: Syrian Arab Republic: COVID-19 Update No. 10 – 16 May 2020

Yemen – No new digest announcements identified


UN OCHA – Corporate Emergencies
When the USG/ERC declares a Corporate Emergency Response, all OCHA offices, branches and sections provide their full support to response activities both at HQ and in the field.
CYCLONE IDAI and Kenneth
:: 20 May 2019 Mozambique: Cyclone Idai & Floods Situation Report No. 22 (As of 20 May 2019)
:: 21 May 2020 Zimbabwe Situation Report, 21 May 2020

:: EBOLA OUTBREAK IN THE DRC – No new digest announcements identified


The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 16 May 2020 :: Number 316

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortia and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

PDF:The Sentinel_ period ending 16 May 2020

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles

Uniting behind a people’s vaccine against COVID-19

COVID-19 : Joint Statement

Uniting behind a people’s vaccine against COVID-19
14 May 2020
Humanity today, in all its fragility, is searching for an effective and safe vaccine against COVID-19. It is our best hope of putting a stop to this painful global pandemic.

We are calling on Health Ministers at the World Health Assembly to rally behind a people’s vaccine against this disease urgently. Governments and international partners must unite around a global guarantee which ensures that, when a safe and effective vaccine is developed, it is produced rapidly at scale and made available for all people, in all countries, free of charge. The same applies for all treatments, diagnostics, and other technologies for COVID-19. 

We recognize that many countries and international organizations are making progress towards this goal, cooperating multilaterally on research and development, funding and access, including the welcome $8 billion pledged on 4th May. Thanks to tireless public and private sector efforts and billions of dollars of publicly-financed research, many vaccine candidates are proceeding with unprecedented speed and several have begun clinical trials.

Our world will only be safer once everyone can benefit from the science and access a vaccine – and that is a political challenge. The World Health Assembly must forge a global agreement that ensures rapid universal access to quality-assured vaccines and treatments with need prioritized above the ability to pay.

It is time for Health Ministers to renew the commitments made at the founding of the World Health Organization, where all states agreed to deliver the “the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental right of every human being”.

Now is not the time to allow the interests of the wealthiest corporations and governments to be placed before the universal need to save lives, or to leave this massive and moral task to market forces. Access to vaccines and treatments as global public goods are in the interests of all humanity. We cannot afford for monopolies, crude competition and near-sighted nationalism to stand in the way.

We must heed the warning that “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” We must learn the painful lessons from a history of unequal access in dealing with disease such as HIV and Ebola. But we must also remember the ground-breaking victories of health movements, including AIDS activists and advocates who fought for access to affordable medicines for all.

Applying both sets of lessons, we call for a global agreement on COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and treatments – implemented under the leadership of the World Health Organization – that:

[1] Ensures mandatory worldwide sharing of all COVID-19 related knowledge, data and technologies with a pool of COVID-19 licenses freely available to all countries. Countries should be empowered and enabled to make full use of agreed safeguards and flexibilities in the WTO Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health to protect access to medicines for all.

[2] Establishes a global and equitable rapid manufacturing and distribution plan – that is fully-funded by rich nations – for the vaccine and all COVID-19 products and technologies that guarantees transparent ‘at true cost-prices’ and supplies according to need. Action must start urgently to massively build capacity worldwide to manufacture billions of vaccine doses and to recruit and train the millions of paid and protected health workers needed to deliver them.

[3] Guarantees COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, tests and treatments are provided free of charge to everyone, everywhere. Access needs to be prioritized first for front-line workers, the most vulnerable people, and for poor countries with the least capacity to save lives.

In doing so, no one can be left behind. Transparent democratic governance must be set in place by the WHO, inclusive of independent expertise and civil society partners, which is essential to lock-in accountability for this agreement.

In doing so, we also recognize the urgent need to reform and strengthen public health systems worldwide, removing all barriers so that rich and poor alike can access the health care, technologies and medicines they need, free at the point of need.

Only a people’s vaccine – with equality and solidarity at its core – can protect all of humanity and get our societies safely running again. A bold international agreement cannot wait.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – President of the Republic of Ghana
Imran Khan – Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Cyril Ramaphosa – President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union..
[Fifty+ signatories; Full list at title link above]

ICOMOS and COVID-19: Heritage as a cornerstone of human, social and economic recovery

COVID-19 and Heritage

ICOMOS and COVID-19: Heritage as a cornerstone of human, social and economic recovery
International Council on Monuments and Sites
04 May 2020
…However, the challenges of recovery are not only economic, but also human and social. The importance of social justice will be re-visited and re-evaluated at many levels, also nationally and internationally, and it will be a central issue in the process of recovery and the post-COVID world.

ICOMOS believes that heritage is not only a driver of sustainable development, but also a cornerstone of human and social recovery following disasters, and our organization intends to make its contribution during and after this pandemic. We live in a world of unparalleled, unpredictable and complex circumstances. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work nor will one-off measures suffice in overcoming the impacts of COVID-19. ICOMOS’ is therefore planning two major activities – with a long term perspective:

First, knowing that recovery will be long and will take various forms, ICOMOS through its global networks, Committees and Working Groups and calling on its diverse expertise, will monitor and assess developments and measures taken across countries for at least the coming three years, from the viewpoint of heritage conservation. ICOMOS will publish annually a published on the recovery from the pandemic, covering both pre-vaccine- and post-vaccine phases, and offer a solid basis for policy recommendations.

Second, ICOMOS believes in the power of place. Being in a historic building or at a significant site is a fundamentally different experience from seeing pictures on a screen. Whilst human values may gain new attention, the importance of heritage may not be recognized by governments in the same manner as before, as they will be overwhelmed by the pressures of the recovery process and competing priorities. ICOMOS must be proactive in ensuring that the policies and measures relevant to heritage that are implemented to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic are well balanced – for instance, that economic stimulus packages take into account the significant role that can be played by heritage and conservation. Such measures, will not only protect heritage, but also the communities that are linked to it. In this context, ICOMOS is launching a series of webinars, covering diverse aspects and issues related to heritage conservation, including impacts of the pandemic, with sessions aimed both at heritage professionals and the wider public…

ICOMOS [International Council on Monuments and Sites] works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organisation of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage.
:: 10,546 Individual Members in 151 countries
:: 271 Institutional Members
:: 107 National Committees
:: 28 International Scientific Committees

COVID-19 Economic Impact Could Reach $8.8 Trillion Globally — New ADB Report

Covid-19 : Global Economic Impact

COVID-19 Economic Impact Could Reach $8.8 Trillion Globally — New ADB Report
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (15 May 2020) — The global economy could suffer between $5.8 trillion and $8.8 trillion in losses—equivalent to 6.4% to 9.7% of global gross domestic product (GDP)—as a result of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, says a new report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today.

The report, Updated Assessment of the Potential Economic Impact of COVID-19, finds that economic losses in Asia and the Pacific could range from $1.7 trillion under a short containment scenario of 3 months to $2.5 trillion under a long containment scenario of 6 months, with the region accounting for about 30% of the overall decline in global output. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) could suffer losses between $1.1 trillion and $1.6 trillion. The new analysis updates findings presented in the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 published on 3 April, which estimated COVID-19’s global cost to range from $2.0 trillion to $4.1 trillion.

Governments around the world have been quick in responding to the impacts of the pandemic, implementing measures such as fiscal and monetary easing, increased health spending, and direct support to cover losses in incomes and revenues. Sustained efforts from governments focused on these measures could soften COVID 19’s economic impact by as much as 30% to 40%, according to the report. This could reduce global economic losses due to the pandemic to between $4.1 trillion and $5.4 trillion.

The analysis, which uses a Global Trade Analysis Project-computable general equilibrium model, covers 96 outbreak-affected economies with over 4 million COVID-19 cases. In addition to shocks to tourism, consumption, investment, and trade and production linkages covered in the ADO 2020 estimates, the new report includes transmission channels such as the increase in trade costs affecting mobility, tourism, and other industries; supply-side disruptions that adversely affect output and investment; and government policy responses that mitigate the effects of COVID-19’s global economic impact.

“This new analysis presents a broad picture of the very significant potential economic impact of COVID-19,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada. “It also highlights the important role policy interventions can play to help mitigate damage to economies. These findings can provide governments with a relevant policy guide as they develop and implement measures to contain and suppress the pandemic, and lessen its impacts on their economies and people.”

ADB’s COVID-19 Policy Database provides detailed information on the key economic measures that ADB members are taking to combat the pandemic