1. Situation Overview
Global cases: 23,491,520 confirmed. Global deaths: 809,970 confirmed. Countries, areas or territories with cases: 216 (as of 25 August, WHO). The COVID-19 pandemic is still expanding, but the rise in cases and deaths has slowed globally, except for Southeast Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean regions. India passed 3 million COVID-19 cases, posting world’s highest rate of infection for 18 consecutive days as South Korea saw biggest daily surge since March. The U.S. reported more than 5.7 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, but new cases appear to be declining in many states. Mexico passed 60,000 deaths.
In Africa, COVID-19 cases surpassed 1.19 million and has unleashed a myriad of “shadow pandemics” on girls according to child rights groups. In efforts to respond the pandemic, WHO announced 172 nations were engaging with the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, while the Global Fund is seeking US$5 billion. Bill Gates said the COVID-19 pandemic will be over by the end of 2021.
2. Global Fund COVID-19 Response
The Global Fund is providing up to US$1 billion and operational flexibility to help countries fight COVID-19, shore up health systems and mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs. As of end of July 2020, the initial allocation of US$500 million for emergency funding was fully approved and deployed to 72 countries and 3 multicountry programs through the COVID-19 Response Mechanism. Additional grant flexibilities remain available to support countries.
As part of the global response to COVID-19, the Global Fund is working with health leaders, partners and governments to ensure the global response to COVID-19 includes lessons learned from the fight against HIV, TB and malaria: protect human rights and address stigma and discrimination, particularly among key and vulnerable populations; fight human rights and gender barriers to health; engage communities in the response; and fairly allocate limited COVID-19 resources and new tools so that no one is left behind.
The Global Fund is a founding partner of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a global collaboration of organizations and governments working to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 technologies. As part of ACT-A, we are a co-convener of both the Diagnostics Partnership (with FIND) and the Health Systems Connector (with the World Bank), and we are a procurement and deployment partner in the Therapeutics Partnership. We also co-lead the WHO Diagnostics Consortium along with UNICEF to negotiate pricing and procure molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and we have opened our innovative online sourcing portal, wambo.org, to all countries and organizations so they also can benefit from the Global Fund’s economies of scale for health products.