On 30 January 2020, the WHO Director General declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) following the recommendations of the Emergency Committee on 2019-nCoV, under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). In line with the need for global solidarity, the Committee felt that a global coordinated effort is needed to enhance preparedness in regions of the world that may need additional support. A strategic preparedness and response plan (SPRP) was developed for Uzbekistan, in collaboration with WHO and other partners, which provides guidance to manage the response to COVID-19. Following the incident management structure, WHO and its partners provide support to the government of Uzbekistan in the area of risk communication and community engagement, country operations, logistics and procurement, emergency public health measures, clinical and health interventions, surveillance, and laboratory support.
RISK COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
On 15 April 2020, WHO, in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Republic of Uzbekistan, conducted a two-day training on effective communication in emergency situations for 30 press secretaries of MoH branches in the regions and for communication staff of medical organizations across Uzbekistan. The training covered a wide range of topics including: working with public opinion and combatting misinformation, development of clear, transparent messages on protective measures, community engagement, engaging trusted influencers, identification of target groups among the population as well as reliable, scientific, truthful and verified sources of information and channels for delivery of the messages to the public.