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WHO’s COVID-19 response

WHO’s COVID-19 response
It was the scenario the public health community had feared for decades. A dangerous virus emerges. It spreads rapidly around the world.

COVID-19 infects people when they come together, but coming together is also how we will beat it. 2020 saw the world unite against the virus, from small personal gestures to protect others, to international collaboration on research and innovation. The year ends with COVID-19 vaccines rolling out – an extraordinary feat.

Science, solutions and solidarity have been WHO’s tools for addressing the biggest health threat of the past century – this is the story of the response we built with them.

Taking stock of all that’s been achieved – and the partnerships working to end the pandemic.

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Guidance, coordination and leadership

This isn’t the first time WHO has responded to a pandemic, and it won’t be the last – but COVID-19 is the most challenging crisis we have ever faced.

Countries looked to WHO for guidance on how to confront an unknown virus and WHO answered the call. Within two weeks of first learning of this new disease, WHO published its first set of advice to countries on how to test for the virus, treat patients, keep the public informed and prepare for more cases.

WHO also leveraged well-established scientific relationships and connections to facilitate the rapid development of vaccines, treatments, diagnostics and other tools. The first lab test for COVID-19 was developed just days after scientists shared the genetic sequence, and the first test kits were shipped out to labs around the world within weeks.

On 30 January 2020, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The declaration is WHO’s highest level of alarm – a rallying call to all countries to immediately take notice, and take action.

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WHO’s website  |  Newsroom  |  Date Unknown  |  https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/a-year-without-precedent-who-s-covid-19-response

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