February 7: Wuhan Doctor And Whistleblower Li Wenliang Died At The Onset Of The Outbreak Li Warned Contacts From Medical School About A New Virus But Was Reprimanded By Authorities
Li was forced to sign a letter saying he made “false comments” after he alerted fellow doctors about the worrisome SARS-like disease.
Li caught the coronavirus himself and died a little more than a month later. He left behind a son and pregnant wife. After his death, Chinese social media was filled with outpourings of grief and anger. Many posts featured a hashtag saying “We want freedom of speech.”
Bats Mink Pangolins And Other Animals Are Suspects According To A Report By The World Health Organisation But Many Questions Remain Unanswered
IN LITTLE MORE than a year, covid-19 has spread to 192 countries, caused more than 128m recorded infections and over 2.8m recorded deaths. But it is still not clear where the disease came from. The question has caused diplomatic quarrels, notably between Donald Trump’s administration and China, and excited conspiracy theorists who say the pathogen leaked from government-run Chinese labs. On March 30th a team of experts convened by the World Health Organisation published its report into the likely origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. After a 28-day mission to Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus was first spotted in late 2019, the team claimed to have found important clues. But the report has been criticised by at least 14 countries, including America and Britain, which accuse China of withholding access and information. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, described the investigation as not “extensive enough”. What are the probable origins of covid-19 and when, if ever, might its source be established?
January 1 2020: Chinese Authorities Closed The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market To Which Many Cases In That Early Cluster Had Links
Although the market was initially suspected to be the site where the outbreak first started, research has suggested that it simply boosted transmission via an early superspreader event.
China has since banned the buying, selling, and transportation of wild animals in markets, restaurants, and online marketplaces.
Falsified Medical Products Including In Vitro Diagnostics That Claim To Prevent Detect Treat Or Cure Covid
31 March 2020
This Medical Product Alert warns consumers, healthcare professionals, and health authorities against a growing number of falsified medical products that claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure COVID-19.
The Coronavirus disease pandemic has increased demand for medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and reagents, all related to COVID-19, creating an opportunity for ill-intended persons to distribute falsified medical products
Due diligence is required from all actors in the procurement, use and administration of medical products, in particular those affected by the current crisis of, or related to, COVID-19.
At this stage, WHO does not recommend any medicines to treat or cure COVID-19. However, the SOLIDARITY trial, led by WHO, is reviewing potential treatments for COVID-19.
October 23: The Us Entered Its Third Surge Of Coronavirus Cases The Beginning Of Its Deadliest Phase Yet
Daily cases rose more than 40% from the beginning to end of October. Since then, new cases have continued to trend upward. Patients with COVID-19 have overwhelmed intensive-care units in cities like El Paso, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
On each of six days in December, more than 3,000 people in the US died, eclipsing the daily high of the first wave: 2,752 deaths on May 7.
The Fda Granted Emergency Authorization Of The Coronavirus Antibody Treatment Given To President Trump
The F.D.A. granted emergency authorization for the experimental antibody treatment, made by biotech company Regeneron and consisting of a cocktail of two powerful antibodies, given to President Trump shortly after he tested positive for the coronavirus. The approval gave doctors another option to treat patients as cases across the country continued to rise.
March 19: China Reported No New Locally Spread Infections For The First Time Since The Pandemic Began
The nation has since kept its case numbers under control, with fewer than 20,000 new cases since May among a population of nearly 1.4 billion people.
China’s strict lockdowns helped it contained COVID-19 so quickly. A March study found that the Wuhan lockdown on January 23 prevented tens of thousands of infections throughout the Hubei province. Without the lockdown, cases in Hubei would have been 65% higher, the study calculated.
September 2: The Who Issued A Strong Recommendation For The Use Of Steroids Among Seriously Ill Covid
The organization based its recommendation on the results of seven clinical trials, which found that critically ill COVID-19 patients given steroids were significantly less likely to die.
“Clearly, now steroids are the standard of care,” Dr. Howard Bauchner, editor in chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, told The New York Times.
Who And Unhcr Join Forces To Improve Health Services For Refugees Displaced And Stateless People
21 May 2020
WHO signed a new agreement with the UN Refugee Agency, with a key aim for 2020 of supporting ongoing efforts to protect some 70 million forcibly displaced people from COVID-19. Around 26 million of these people are refugees, 80 per cent of whom are sheltered in low and middle-income countries with weak health systems. Another 40 million internally displaced people also require assistance.
UNHCR also joined the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which has raised $214m to date. The Fund contributed $10 million to support UNHCR’s work on urgent needs related to community engagement, hygiene and medical supplies, isolation units and global preparedness activities.
Who Scientific Brief On Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome In Children And Adolescents With Covid
15 May 2020
Relatively few cases of infants confirmed to have COVID-19 have been reported; those who are infected have experienced mild illness.
Recently, however, reports from Europe and North America have described clusters of children and adolescents requiring admission to intensive care units with a multisystem inflammatory condition with some features similar to those of Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.
It is essential to characterize this syndrome and its risk factors, to understand causality, and describe treatment interventions. It is not yet clear the full spectrum of disease, and whether the geographical distribution in Europe and North America reflects a true pattern, or if the condition has simply not been recognized elsewhere.
There is therefore an urgent need for collection of standardized data describing clinical presentations, severity, outcomes, and epidemiology. WHO has developed a preliminary case definition and case report form for multisystem inflammatory disorder in children and adolescents. The case definition will be revised as more data become available.
In addition to more detail on the above, the Scientific Brief also includes information on the preliminary case definition and Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform.
Why Are Experts Concerned About Future Spikes Of The Coronavirus Or A Second Wave In Some Areas
When the coronavirus first appeared in the U.S. in early 2020, it started with a very small number of infected people, so it took longer to spread. Now that the disease is widely distributed, with many unknowing coronavirus carriers in many different areas of the country, the risk of transmission is widespread.
Fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere means inclement weather in many areas, with more people spending time indoors. Several holidays take place around the end of the calendar year, and people who celebrate them want to gather, travel, and visit friends and family.
Also, after many months of canceled activities, economic challenges and stress, people are frustrated and tired of taking coronavirus precautions. All these are factors that are driving surges and spikes in COVID-19 cases.
Who’s Legal Counsel Explains How Observer Status At The World Health Assembly Is Determined
6 May 2020
In an answer to a journalist’s question, WHO’s Legal Counsel Derek Walton outlined that the World Health Assembly on 18 and 19 May 2020 will be held virtually, as a de minimis session, which means it will focus principally on the COVID-19 pandemic.
He went on to explain that the involvement of observers is a question for the member governments of WHO and that WHO’s Secretariat does not decide on such matters.
Who/europe Publishes Guidance On The Gradual Easing Of Measures Taken In Response To Covid
24 April 2020
WHO’s Regional Office for Europe has published key considerations for the gradual easing of the lockdown restrictions introduced by many countries in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the European Region.
The transition out of lockdown is set to be a complex and uncertain phase. Challenges and circumstances vary from country to country and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It is vital that countries clearly communicate this to the public to build trust and ensure that people observe restrictions specific to their situation.
On 17 April, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe briefed Ministries of Health about the upcoming guidance.
Health Ministers welcomed @WHO_Europe Transition Framework for #COVID19. Great insights on need for two track health system response, protecting those in nursing homes and solidarity with neighbouring countries. “Safety above speed”@chrisfearne@RuoccogiuG@natasha_azzmushttps://t.co/3lc3i8JvwK
— Hans Kluge April 17, 2020
But Wasnt There A World Health Organization Mission To Wuhan To Study The Origins Of Covid
There was indeed. But the terms of reference of that mission, agreed with China, were to study the potential animal origins of the coronavirus, a fact that was well known to the US and other countries.
It did not include provisions for an audit of the WIV laboratory or to look into so-called “gain of function” research at the lab into viruses, which the Chinese are unlikely to have agreed to. During that mission to Wuhan, researchers spent just three hours at the lab.
However, in public comments team members were sceptical of the lab leak theory after their visit, on the basis of what they were allowed to see – although that does not rule other material having been hidden.
And China, as the WHO’s head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, made clear, did not provide all the information that many had been hoping for, including full epidemiological data on some 174 early cases.
Who Welcomes Preliminary Results About Dexamethasone Use In Treating Critically Ill Covid
16 June 2020
WHO welcomes the initial clinical trial results from the UK that show dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill with COVID-19. For patients on ventilators, the treatment was shown to reduce mortality by about one third, and for patients requiring only oxygen, mortality was cut by about one fifth, according to preliminary findings shared with WHO.
We @WHO welcome results from a large RCT, that dexamethasone reduces mortality among the most severe #COVID19 patients. Focus must be on saving lives and preventing new infectionsCoronavirus breakthrough: dexamethasone is first drug shown to save lives https://t.co/GG75lsEAbk
— Soumya Swaminathan June 16, 2020
The Coronavirus Reached France In December Doctors Said Rewriting The Epidemics Timeline
French doctors said that they had discovered that a patient treated for pneumonia in late December had the coronavirus. If the diagnosis is verified, it would suggest that the virus appeared in Europe nearly a month earlier than previously understood and days before Chinese authorities first reported the new illness to the World Health Organization. The first report of an infection in Europe was on Jan. 24 in France.
This Statement Is No Longer Maintained An Updated Version Was Published On 29 June 2020
31 Dec 2019Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus was eventually identified.1 January 2020WHO had set up the IMST across the three levels of the organization: headquarters, regional headquarters and country level, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak.4 January 2020WHO reported on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province. 5 January 2020WHO published our first Disease Outbreak News on the new virus. This is a flagship technical publication to the scientific and public health community as well as global media. It contained a risk assessment and advice, and reported on what China had told the organization about the status of patients and the public health response on the cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
10 January 2020WHO issued a comprehensive package of technical guidance online with advice to all countries on how to detect, test and manage potential cases, based on what was known about the virus at the time. This guidance was shared with WHO’s regional emergency directors to share with WHO representatives in countries.
12 January 2020China publicly the genetic sequence of COVID-19.
13 January 2020
Officials confirm a case of COVID-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China.
14 January 2020
30 January 2020
3 February 2020
11-12 February 2020
How Did Coronavirus Start And Where Did It Come From Was It Really Wuhans Animal Market
It’s likely Covid-19 originated in bats, scientists say. But did it then spread to pangolins and humans?
Last modified on Wed 1 Jul 2020 17.35 BST
In the public mind, the origin story of coronavirus seems well fixed: in late 2019 someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal.
The rest is part of an awful history still in the making, with Covid-19 spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed about 211,000 people so far.
Stock footage of pangolins – a scaly mammal that looks like an anteater – have made it on to news bulletins, suggesting this animal was the staging post for the virus before it spread to humans.
But there is uncertainty about several aspects of the Covid-19 origin story that scientists are trying hard to unravel, including which species passed it to a human. They’re trying hard because knowing how a pandemic starts is a key to stopping the next one.
Prof Stephen Turner, head of the department of microbiology at Melbourne’s Monash University, says what’s most likely is that virus originated in bats.
But that’s where his certainty ends, he says.
On the hypothesis that the virus emerged at the Wuhan live animal market from an interaction between an animal and a human, Turner says: “I don’t think it’s conclusive by any means.”
This might be another reason to doubt the established story.
A Study In South Korea Found That Older Children Spread The Virus Comparably To Adults
While school districts around the United States struggle with reopening plans, a study from South Korea offered a note of caution. It found that children between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do, suggesting that middle and high schools in particular may seed new clusters of infection. Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often, according to the study, although the risk is not zero.
Who Teams Up With The International Olympic Committee To Improve Health Through Sport
16 May 2020
WHO signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to work together to promote health through sport and physical activity. This collaboration is timely because the current COVID-19 pandemic is particularly affecting people with noncommunicable diseases . The agreement has a special focus on preventing NCDs through sport.
Other areas of collaboration include working with host countries to ensure the health of athletes, supporters and workers at the games as well as addressing NCD risk factors, including water quality and air pollution. The two institutions will also work to ensure that the games leave a healthy legacy in host countries through enhanced awareness of the value of sport and physical activity.
The two organizations also intend to work together promote grassroots and community sports programmes that have a further reach within the general public, particularly among girls, older people and people living with disability who may find it harder to keep active and healthy.
Together we will:-Strengthen the health legacy of major sporting events-Promote grassroots & community sports programmes -Strengthen collaboration between Ministries of Sport & Ministries of Health pic.twitter.com/wkYZY8Nd7m
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus May 16, 2020
New Guidance On Preparedness And Response In Low Capacity And Humanitarian Settings
7 May 2020
COVID-19 prevention and control measures can be difficult to implement in humanitarian crises or places with low capacity. Testing, isolating and treating people with COVID-19 and tracing their contacts is also challenging in places with weaker health systems.
Public health and social measures in these settings must be balanced against other risks, such as lack of income, limited access to basic services, food insecurity, and lack of a social safety net. Measures also need to be pragmatic and leverage the strengths of local structures and systems, notably through social mobilization and strong community engagement.
This interim guidance outlines how to adapt COVID-19 prevention and response measures for use in low capacity and humanitarian settings.
WHO’s mission is: promote health, keep the world safe, serve the vulnerable. This means delivering #HealthForAll, everywhere, including in areas affected by war and conflict. The most important tool to fight #Ebola, #COVID19 and other disease outbreaks is peace. pic.twitter.com/DXz3jrMsfE
— World Health Organization May 7, 2020
New Joint Effort To Reach Billions Who Are Offline With Vital Health Information
20 April 2020
The World Health Organization and the International Telecommunication Union , with support from UNICEF, are set to work with telecommunication companies to text people on their mobile phones with vital health messaging to help protect them from COVID-19. These text messages will reach people that aren’t able to connect to the internet for information.
Around the world, an estimated 3.6 billion people remain offline, with most people who are unconnected living in low-income countries.The collaboration will start in the Asia Pacific region and then roll out globally. The goal is to reach everyone with vital health messages, whatever their connectivity level.
— World Health Organization April 22, 2020
WHO Director-General addresses the G20 Health Ministers virtual meeting
19 April 2020
The Director-General thanked the G20 Health Ministers for their commitment to a coordinated approach to responding to COVID-19 and the G20 Summit’s recent statement of support for WHO’s role.
He also made three requests:
“First, we urge each of your countries to continue to fight the pandemic with determination, guided by science and evidence.
Second, we are looking to the G20 countries to continue to support the global response to COVID-19.
The Cdc Said Childrens Visits To The Emergency Room For Mental Health Had Risen
As states locked down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and schools turned to remote learning, the number of emergency room visits for mental health reasons rose 31 percent among children ages 12 to 17, from March through October, compared with the same period last year, according to a C.D.C. study.
Shortage Of Personal Protective Equipment Endangering Health Workers Worldwide
3 Mar 2020
WHO has shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, but the global supply is rapidly depleting.
Shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for COVID-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons.
Independent Oversight And Advisory Committee Releases Interim Report On Covid
18 May 2020
The Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee provides regular reporting on WHO’s emergencies programme. It was set up at the same time as the programme.
The IOAC interim report notes that WHO responded more quickly than in previous emergencies and “demonstrated leadership and has made important progress in its COVID-19 response.” The report also provides recommendations for WHO and Member States on how to improve the COVID-19 response.
WHO welcomes the committee’s report, which is part of existing mechanisms to review WHO’s work and ensure a constant feedback loop to improve performance.
Every country and every organization must examine its response and learn from its experience. WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement. ? https://t.co/gxDtzzu7Yk#COVID19pic.twitter.com/JcM73Qu5ZR
— World Health Organization May 20, 2020
Major Relief Airlift Will Bring Vital Medical Supplies To All African Nations
14 April 2020
Today the first United Nations “Solidarity Flight” departed from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From there, vital medical cargo will be transported to all countries in Africa, where supplies are desperately needed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
WHO cargo is being transported by the World Food Programme , and includes a large quantity of medical supplies donated by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Jack Ma Foundation Initiative to reverse COVID-19 in Africa. The African Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention , is providing technical support and coordination for the distribution of the supplies.
The crucial WHO cargo includes laboratory supplies to support surveillance and detection, one million face masks, and enough personal protective equipment to enable health workers to care for more than 30 000 patients across the continent.
The Government of the United Arab Emirates generously supported this operation, with WHO’s regional logistics hub in Dubai playing a key role in making sure the supplies are prepared and shipped to where they are most needed.
Very glad to share this news: today, the 1st @UN solidarity flight departs Addis Ababa, ?? carrying vital #COVID19 medical supplies to all African nations.The Solidarity Flight is part of a larger effort to ship lifesaving medical supplies to 95 countries https://t.co/IRPiOP4fg6pic.twitter.com/1hTD1XBOjh
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus April 14, 2020
The European Union Pressured By China Watered Down A Report On Disinformation
The E.U. appeared to succumb to pressure from Beijing and softened criticism of China in a report on disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. While the initial report was not particularly harsh, European officials delayed and then rewrote the document to dilute the focus on China, a vital trading partner.
Wuhan A City Of More Than 11 Million Was Cut Off By The Chinese Authorities
The Chinese authorities closed off Wuhan by canceling planes and trains leaving the city, and suspending buses, subways and ferries within it. At this point, at least 17 people had died and more than 570 others had been infected, including in Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, South Korea and the United States.
The Global Outbreak Alert And Response Network Marks Its 20th Anniversary
28 April 2020
Fully engaged in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, GOARN partners are commemorating the anniversary by sharing their COVID-19 response activities internationally and nationally to raise awareness of the value of this collaborative model, particularly when every nation faces the same health threat at the same time.
GOARN is supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response through the deployment of experts to support teams in countries and for high-level assessment missions, remote access to expert advice to inform outbreak risk assessments and operational planning, addressing research gaps, the development of innovative tools and much more.
GOARN is marking this day by sharing examples of its response activities to show the value of this collaborative model. It is fully engaged in the #COVID19 response. More information: https://t.co/SYXTA0uiin#GOARN2020pic.twitter.com/rEda0dmhkZ
— World Health Organization April 28, 2020
Who Collaborates With Wto On Resolving Disruption To Global Supply Chains
20 April 2020
WHO and the World Trade Organization are collaborating to secure vital medical supply lines – ensuring normal cross-border flows and resolving unnecessary disruptions to global supply chains.
In a joint statement, WHO and WTO called on Members to continue to ensure that health technologies – including diagnostics, medicines, vaccines and supplies vital to treating COVID-19 patients – reach those in need quickly.
Global action, solidarity and international cooperation are more necessary than ever to address the #COVID19 pandemic. @WHO and @wto are working together to play their part. Solidarity! https://t.co/gR45xCjKHV
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus April 20, 2020