The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on March 31 that the coronavirus crisis is “far from over” in Aisa and the Pacific. Addressing a virtual media briefing on COVID-19 in the western pacific region, WHO Regional Director Takeshi Kasai said that this is going to be a long-term battle and we can not let down our guard.
“We need every country to keep responding to their local situation and at the same time we need every country to keep preparing for large scale community transmission,” said Kasai.
The WHO official said that the western pacific region was hit hard by SARS in 2003 and the UN health agency has been preparing for such situation ever since. Kasai, however, cautioned that COVID-19 is a pandemic the world has ever seen and it has changed systems and put a strain on people’s lives in an unprecedented manner.
“Preparing for large-scale community transmission must reach every corner and community of every country, to make sure that nobody is left behind,” said the WHO Regional Director.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published operational planning guidelines to help countries balance the demands to fight COVID-19 while maintaining other essential health services. The overwhelming number of coronavirus cases has affected other essential health services since most of the resources have been concentrated to fight the pandemic.
Addressing a press briefing on March 30, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the guidelines include immediate actions to reorganize and maintain access to high-quality essential health services such as routine vaccination, care during pregnancy and childbirth, treatment for infectious and noncommunicable diseases and mental health conditions.
The practical manual cover three major interventions that call for setting up screening and triage at health facilities, community facilities, and treatment centre. WHO also called on countries to work with companies to increase production and ensure the free movement of essential health products.