Report on Interest

WHO seeks $675m for Coronavirus response plan

By News Desk

To fight further spread of the new Coronavirus outbreak in China and globally, World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international health bodies have disclosed that $675 million would be required to prepare states with weaker health system and design adequate response plan between February and April 2020.

Objectives of the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) are to  limit human-to-human transmission of the virus, particularly in countries most vulnerable if they were to face an outbreak; identify, isolate and care for patients early; communicate critical risk and event information; minimize social and economic impact; reduce virus spread from animal sources; and address crucial unknowns.

As stated in the SPRP, WHO assesses that the outbreak poses a very high risk in China, and high risk regionally and globally. The risk assessment was based on factors including the likelihood of further spread, the potential impact on human health, and the varying levels of effectiveness in national preparedness and response measures. Accelerated action, as called for in the plan, can address these risks and areas requiring support.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a statement made available to The Guild, stressed that the funds would be used majorly on countries that have dearth of facilities to detect person that have contacted the virus.

“My biggest worry is that there are countries today who do not have the systems in place to detect people who have contracted with the virus, even if it were to emerge.

“Urgent support is needed to bolster weak health systems to detect, diagnose and care for people with the virus, to prevent further human to human transmission and protect health workers,” the Director-General added.

Head of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan, stressed that effectiveness of outbreak response depends on preparedness measures put in place before outbreaks strike.

“That is why we are seeking resources to safeguard the most vulnerable countries to protect people from the new coronavirus before it arrives on the doorstep.”

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