I. What is Covid-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. The most recently discovered coronavirus, first identified in the Hubei region (China) in December 2019, causes COVID-19. In severe cases, COVID-19 may result in pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or death. While a majority will experience mild flu-like symptoms, certain groups are more vulnerable to the disease. Vulnerable groups include, but are not limited to, older persons, persons with underlying health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, heart disease, asthma or cancer. Some 292,142 cases have been reported at the global level1 and one confirmed case is reported in Mozambique as of 22 March 2020. WHO has recommended “all countries to increase their level of preparedness, alert and response to identify, manage, and care for new cases of COVID-19”.
II. Key Considerations During Infectious Disease Outbreak
A holistic, people-centered approach to humanitarian work is called for, including during prevention, mitigation and preparedness stages of a response to an infectious disease. In doing so, responses should take into consideration the consequences of outbreaks on communities and pay special attention to the needs of vulnerable groups.