Focus Friday: Top COVID-19 (coronavirus) news this week

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This week saw the announcement of additional funding for some of the world’s poorest countries to fight COVID-19. Community health workers in India are mobilizing to support the national response, while Vietnam’s approach to the pandemic offers useful lessons for containment. Meanwhile, global health experts are highlighting disruptions to global health supply chains, the need for fair global allocation of COVID-19 vaccines once available, and efforts to strengthen universal health coverage in the midst of a pandemic .

 

PEF Allocates US$195 Million to More than 60 Low-Income Countries to Fight COVID-19 | Press Release

The Steering Body of the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) announced the allocation of US$195.84 million to 64 of the world’s poorest countries with reported cases of COVID-19. The funds will provide additional support for essential and critical lifesaving medical equipment, personal protective equipment, therapeutics and medicine, and support for health workers on the frontlines of the crisis.

 

India: The Dual Battle Against Undernutrition and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) | Feature Story

In normal times, India’s million plus army of anganwadi health workers leads the country’s fight against undernutrition in local communities. Today, these women have joined the battle against COVID-19. They are now going door to door, recording people’s travel history, noting flu symptoms, and helping trace contacts.

 

COVID-19 (coronavirus): Ensuring fair global allocation of vaccines | Blog

Once we have a vaccine for COVID-19, we need to put in place a fair global allocation system to ensure that all countries, including the poorest, have equal access to vaccines once they are available. 

 

COVID-19 (coronavirus): Panic buying and its impact on global health supply chains | Blog

Panic buying is an international phenomenon that threatens health systems’ ability to prevent and treat the coronavirus. Governments all over the globe are trying to secure masks, protective equipment, and ventilators while stocking up and rationing other medicines to respond to supply chain disruptions. Panic buying from high-income countries reduces access to affordable and quality-assured medicines for low- and middle-income countries. 

 

COVID-19 (coronavirus): Universal health coverage in times of crisis | Blog

The pandemic brings into sharp focus two core truths. First, the premise of universal health coverage – to ensure health for all without causing financial hardship – is fundamental to making sure that everyone has access to the free-of-charge testing and treatment they need for COVID-19. Second, strong health systems are crucial in order to respond to health crises.

 

Containing the coronavirus (COVID-19): Lessons from Vietnam | Blog

With not a single confirmed death from COVID-19 to date, Vietnam’s approach offers useful insights for bringing the pandemic under control. Early, decisive and transparent actions by the country’s leadership, along with the engagement and solidarity of citizens, have been key to Vietnam’s success in combatting COVID-19 to date.

Authors

Priyanka Ripley

Digital communications consultant with the Health, Nutrition and Population communications team

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