COVID-19 Response - Situation Report 1 (23 March 2020)
On 31 December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of the People’s Republic of China; one month later, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Committee declared the illness known as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). COVID19 was officially declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. As of 18 March 2020, more than 191,000 cases and over 7,800 deaths have been reported globally (WHO Sitrep 58; most recent figures can be found here), across 166 countries/territories. New cases and countries are emerging on a daily basis, and the situation is far from stabilizing. While some countries are in full-blown response mode, others remain in a state of preparedness. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, globally, IOM has been working with Member States and partners to prepare and respond to the outbreak, with operational and technical support in the areas of migration and health. The aim of IOM’s COVID -19 activities is to propose ways to support countries that may need additional resources – financial, technical or operational – for preparedness or response to help ensure further infections are prevented, and to assist health systems so they have the capacity to cope with COVID-19 from a mobility perspective. In coordination and partnership with relevant actors at global, regional and national levels, IOM will contribute to the overall objective of the WHO’s COVID-19 Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SRP) to halt further transmission of COVID-19, and mitigate the impact of the outbreak, including the social impact. The International Organization for Migration, UN Migration (IOM) has more than 65 years of experience – 430+ offices and 14,000+ staff worldwide, including thousands working specifically on health and community engagement – helping people on the move stay healthy.