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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Situation Report - 200 (7 August 2020)

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As the continent nears one million cases, WHO is increasing COVID-19 support to hotspot countries in Africa. Altogether more than 40 public health experts are expected to provide surge support, working with national and provincial counterparts on key areas of the response.

The Pan-American Health Organization/WHO Regional Office for the Americas/has drawn upon the Strategic Fund for Public Health Supplies to procure and distribute millions of COVID-19 diagnostic kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and other essential health supplies to countries throughout the region. Thus far, over 10 million PCR diagnostic tests have been sent to six countries. The Strategic Fund also helped finance PPE including face shields, gloves, goggles, gowns, masks and respirators for 26 countries in the region.

Environmental surveillance by testing of waste water for evidence of pathogens has a long history of use in public health. WHO has published a scientific brief on how this form of surveillance is being used in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing a vaccine against COVID-19 is one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
WHO has published two new documents on the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility. One outlines global procurement for COVID-19 vaccines and the other focuses on insuring accelerated vaccine development and manufacturing.

Today’s ‘Subject in Focus’ provides a summary of the 4th meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee for COVID-19. The Committee noted the anticipated lengthy duration of the COVID19 pandemic, and the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts.