COVID-19 Narratives by Dr David Nabarro

On 21 February 2020, Dr David Nabarro, Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London and Strategic Director of 4SD, was appointed as one of six Special Envoys to the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Special Envoy on COVID-19. In this role, David provides strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world to help WHO coordinate the global response to the epidemic.

Please visit the World Health Organization website for official guidance.

The following Narratives are being written by David and peers to share with those who want more information about the situation and to help raise the awareness and readiness of all actors. Click here to sign up to the 4SD Newsletter for regular updates.

27 March 2020: Narrative Twelve dives into the reality of struggles faced by local authorities in a small french village where decisions are made and evolve quickly, whilst citizens search for immediate reasons and answers.
Download Narrative Twelve as PDF (119kb)

25 March 2020: Narrative Eleven takes a step back from the emergency as a threat to our health and considers the economic shocks, impact on businesses, poverty and social consequences of the crisis. It concludes with a useful approach for policy makers to tackle such a complex problem.
Download Narrative Eleven as PDF (94kb)

24 March 2020: Narrative Ten takes a sincere look at the position leaders’ are in – their decisions are changing by the day, not necessarily because they are making mistakes, but simply because the situation is rapidly evolving.
Download Narrative Ten as PDF (88kb)

24 March 2020: Narrative Nine builds on Narrative Three by detailing how big business, small business and the self-employed are affected, ways to contribute to the response, and most importantly, the need to act quickly and decisively.
Download Narrative Nine as PDF (95kb)

22 March 2020: “It will take the world much longer to suppress this pandemic if nations continue to work independently and are inconsistent in their application of WHO guidance” – This narrative collates Dr David Nabarro’s thoughts as G20 leaders prepare for the “Extraordinary Leaders’ Summit” early this week.
Download Narrative Eight as PDF (88kb) English / Français

19 March 2020: As countries all around the world enter the most restrictive peacetime measures they may have experienced, people everywhere will experience a range of moods and emotions that will impact on their lives.  The overall message for now is: ‘Be Fast, No Blame, No Regrets’.
Download Narrative Seven as PDF (124kb) English / Français

15 March 2020: Narrative Six is a call for Solidarity responses to COVID-19 outbreaks.
We must unleash local capacity, activate networks, coordinate efforts and use WHO guidance.
Download Narrative Six as PDF Presentation (382kb) English / Français / Español

15 March 2020: Narrative Five highlights the urgent need for rapid coordinated effort with multiple actions simultaneously and continuous learning.
Download Narrative Five as PDF (62kb) English / Français

14 March 2020: Narrative Four focuses on the power of people-centred systems leadership to end the COVID-19 pandemic including the need for resolute action by all and systems leadership.
Download Narrative Four as PDF (403kb)

5 March 2020: Narrative Three discusses the important role of business and the contribution that business leaders can make. All sectors – businesses, civil society and government – have vital roles to play in keeping life going despite the virus.
Download Narrative Three as PDF (336kb)

3 March 2020: Narrative Two details readiness planning and the key components of integrated management: engagement of people, organization of public health services, planning provision of clinical care, and preventing societal disruption.
Download Narrative Two as PDF (207kb)

26 February 2020: Narrative One provides insights into China’s effort, the importance of readiness, key public health functions and the urgency for systems leadership to be established so a massive synchronized multi-actor effort can be mobilised.
Download Narrative One as PDF (170kb) English / Français

  1. Thank you for lending your experience and skills at this challenging time. I remember well your calm and informative briefings at the UN during the Ebola crisis. Totally trust your guidance!

  2. Dear Dr Navarro,
    Happy to see you are professionally active and profound in your thoughts and clear in the direction of your response. Glad to see $SD and also that you are one of the six global envoys appointed by WHODG.
    I am now in Egypt. Happy to help.

  3. I believe that I have COVID-19 (day 16 now). I believe that meats and dairy make the virus flare. COVID-19 is transported into the cells via the ACE2 receptor with the help of the TMPRSS2 protease.
    What I can find easily in PubMed is that TMPRSS2 is implicated in prostate cancers. Men who consume a lot of meat and dairy are at higher risks for ultimately developing TMPRSS2+ prostate cancers. Those that consume a lot of tomato paste have lower risks. While this concerns lifelong dietary patterns, I can’t help but wonder: Could the expression of TMPRSS2 be immediately responsive to the foods that we eat? Each time that I cheat in my diet – thinking that I am well enough to use up that milk before it spoils, I get hit with another viral flare. Please, if you catch this and cannot clear it easily, watch to see which foods help and which hurt. If we can reduce the severity of this merely by adjusting diet, then let’s do so!

    • Dear Lisa, we believe healthy, nutritious diets are essential for strong immune systems. We are learning more about this virus everyday. There is not yet any conclusive information from the World Health Organization about the link between diets and COVID-19. If you are interested on hearing more about how the situation is evolving, please join the Open Online Briefings this week: Best, 4SD


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