Apr 13 , 2020

silvia gatti

The WHO recommendations

On 30 January 2020 the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 'public emergency of international concern Health (Public Health Emergency of International Concern - PHEIC), as stipulated in the International Health Regulations (International Health Regulations, IHR , 2005), for the international outbreak of the new coronavirus . On 12 February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified the definitive name of the disease in " COVID-19 ", short for " coronavirus disease 2019 "On the same day the International Commission for the Taxonomy of Viruses (International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses - ICTV) has awarded the final name to the virus that causes the disease: SARS-CoV2, stressing that it is a virus similar to SARS. On 11 March 2020 , WHO confirmed that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus specified that it is the first pandemic triggered by a coronavirus .  

All the actions and interventions undertaken by WHO are available in the news section and in the press briefings section on the WHO website For updates on Europe, see also the sectionWHO europe "> new coronavirus on the WHO Europe website.

WHO-China Joint Mission Report on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus communicated in the press briefing of February 27, 2020 that the team of researchers who went to China in the past few days has finished drafting his report , now available for everyone: the report includes a vast range of information and 22 recommendations for China, for the affected and non-affected countries, for the international community and the general public.

Online training courses
WHO has developed and made available some online training courses to support the response to the 2019-nCoV outbreak, accessible on the OpenWHO.org open learning platform .

Technical guides
WHO produces a series of technical guides , which it constantly updates and collects on the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) technical guidance page . The guides are divided into sections / topics and also collected by date of publication , to facilitate consultation of the most recent material
We highlight the most important sections:

  • WHO Technical guidance "> Early investigations
  • WHO Technical guidance "> Patient management
  • WHO Technical guidance "> Laboratory guidance
  • WHO Technical guidance "> Surveillance and case definitions
  • WHO Technical guidance "> Infection prevention and control
  • WHO Technical guidance "> Points of entry and mass gatherings
  • WHO Technical guidance "> Risk communication and community engagement

On the WHO Europe website, a series of specific technical guides for Europe are collected on the COVID-19 - Technical guidance EUROPE page .

WHO report for the prevention and control of Covid-19 disease in prison

Prisons and other places of detention are closed environments in which people (including staff) live in close proximity. Each country has a responsibility to increase its level of preparation, alert and response to identify, manage and treat new cases of COVID-19, even in prison. Countries should prepare to respond to different public health scenarios, recognizing that there is no single approach for handling COVID-19 cases and outbreaks In this report four four transmission scenarios are defined for Covid-19 that could be experienced by countries at subnational level, and therefore countries should adapt and customize their approach to the local context. Consult and download the WHO Preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 in prisons and other places of detention (2020) report [interim guidance 15 March 2020]. Read our insight   ARS Toscana "> Coronavirus in prisons: from WHO a guide to prevent and face the epidemic .

WHO recommendations for travel and travel
WHO periodically publishes updates in the sectionWHO "> Coronavirus disease - Travel advice .

Network of specialized laboratories

WHO is working with partners to strengthen global diagnostic capacity to detect 2019-nCoV, improve surveillance and track disease spread
WHO and partners have activated a network of specialized reference laboratories , with proven experience in the molecular detection of coronavirusesThese international laboratories can support national laboratories to confirm new cases and solve any problems on molecular testsThe reference laboratories are listed in the Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV - Situation Report 18 - 7 February 2020 .

Crisis Management Team
On February 12, 2020 the United Nations (UN) activated a Crisis Management Team (CMT) for the outbreak of COVID-19, led by WHOThe CMT brings together WHO, OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), IMO (International Maritime Organization), UNICEF, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), WFP (World Food Program), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the World Bank and several departments of the United Nations SecretariatThe first meeting was held yesterday via teleconference.

Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform
WHO launched the global clinical data platform COVID-19 to collectively collect and report information related to clinical severity, providing adequate public health responses.

The global clinical data platform (Global 2019-nCoV) that WHO is launching will facilitate the aggregation of standardized clinical data to allow member states to provide anonymous clinical data.

WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN)
The WHO risk communication team has launched a new information platform called WHO Information Network for Epidemics (EPI-WIN). EPI-WIN will use a series of amplifiers to share information tailored to specific target groups. WHO and EPIWIN are working with the healthcare, travel and tourism sectors to discuss the real and perceived risk in these sectors, the measures put in place for customers and employees and the challenges faced regarding implementation of the Temporary Recommendations associated with the international public health emergency declarationWHO is also working closely with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and together they have developed a guidance document to provide advice to the cabin crew and airport workers : the Emergency Response Guidelines guide is available on the page web IATA. WHO is also working with the agricultural, food and business sectors.

International network of statisticians and mathematicians
WHO is working with an international network of statisticians and mathematicians to estimate the key epidemiological parameters of COVID-19 , such as the incubation period (time between the infection and the onset of symptoms), the mortality rate (percentage of cases that die) and the serial interval (the time of onset of symptoms in a primary and secondary case).

General recommendations
WHO also reiterates its general recommendations to reduce the risk of acute respiratory infections
During previous outbreaks due to other coronaviruses [Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)], human-to-human transmission occurred through saliva droplets (respiratory secretions), contact and fomites, suggesting that the modality of 2019-nCoV broadcast may be similar Here are the WHO general recommendations :
  • avoid close contact with subjects suffering from acute respiratory infections
  • wash your hands often, especially after contact with sick people or their environment
  • avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals
  • people with symptoms of acute airway infection should stay away, cover coughs or sneezes with disposable tissues or clothes and wash their hands
  • reinforce standard infection prevention and control measures, especially in emergency rooms and emergency medicine departments

WHO has also created the pageISS, Epicenter portal "> Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public: When and how to use masks with some videos and simple practical indications for the population   on how and when to use masks .