In the light of the heightened state of alert announced by WHO today, readiness planning must focus urgently on the Integrated Management of COVID-19 Outbreaks. There are four components: engagement of people, organization of public health services, planning provision of clinical care, and preventing societal disruption.
Together, we are powerful. Containment starts with us.
The WHO Director-General’s 10-point guidance
– First, as we keep saying, clean your hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand rub, or wash them with soap and water. Touching your face after touching contaminated surfaces or sick people is one of the ways the virus can be transmitted. By cleaning your hands, you can reduce your risk.
– Second, clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant – for example kitchen benches and work desks.
– Third, educate yourself about COVID-19. Make sure your information comes from reliable sources – your local or national public health agency, the WHO website, or your local health professional. Everyone should know the symptoms – for most people, it starts with a fever and a dry cough, not a runny nose. Most people will have mild disease and get better without needing any special care.
– Fourth, avoid traveling if you have a fever or cough, and if you become sick while on a flight, inform the crew immediately. Once you get home, make contact with a health professional and tell them about where you have been.
– Fifth, if you cough or sneeze, do it into your sleeve, or use a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately into a closed rubbish bin, and then clean your hands.
– Sixth, if you are over 60 years old, or if you have an underlying condition like cardiovascular disease, a respiratory condition or diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing severe disease. You may wish to take extra precautions to avoid crowded areas, or places where you might interact with people who are sick.
– Seventh, for everyone, if you feel unwell, stay at home and call your doctor or local health professional. He or she will ask some questions about your symptoms, where you have been and who you have had contact with. This will help to make sure you get the right advice, are directed to the right health facility, and will prevent you from infecting others.
– Eighth, if you are sick, stay at home, and eat and sleep separately from your family, use different utensils and cutlery to eat.
– Ninth, if you develop shortness of breath, call your doctor and seek care immediately.
– Tenth, it’s normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected. Find out what you can
On 21 February 2020, Dr David Nabarro, Strategic Director of 4SD and Co-Director of the Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation at the Imperial College London, was appointed as a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Special Envoy on COVID-19. In this role, David and five other special envoys are providing 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. David joins special envoys Professor Dr Maha El Rabbat, former Minister of Health of Egypt; Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; Dr Mirta Roses, former Director of the WHO Region of the Americas; Dr Shin Young-soo, former Regional Director of the WHO Region of the Western Pacific and Professor Samba Sow, Director-General of the Center for Vaccine Development in Mali in this collective effort.
Please visit: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 for official guidance from the World Health Organisation on the virus. These Narratives are being written and shared by David for those who want more information and to help raise awareness and readiness of all actors.