Critical to find and treat COVID-19 patients early, WHO mission to Azerbaijan recommends

BAKU, 13 March 2020 – The WHO mission to support COVID-19 preparedness and response in Azerbaijan recommended to prioritize early identification of cases to prevent the spread of illness and optimization of care to all patients. The recommendations were made following extensive consultations with the national authorities and are based on scientific evidence, experience and best practices.

“COVID-19 is now described by WHO as a pandemic. This is a call to action to all countries to protect their people and the world, and achieving global solidarity is crucial. We are grateful to the national authorities in Azerbaijan for an intense week of working together on challenges and solutions. We appreciate their efforts to scale up COVID-19 response,” – said Caroline Brown, WHO mission team lead.

WHO mission on the ground

WHO expert team worked with the health authorities to enhance key areas of work: surveillance and laboratory testing, risk communication, infection prevention and control, care of patients, access to essential medicines and minimization of the impact on the health care system including consideration of social distancing measures.

During the 5-day mission, the team visited national and regional hospitals, laboratories, discussed national plan to detect and treat people with COVID-19. The team also worked with the national authorities to further develop the roadmap for COVID-19 response.

WHO support to Azerbaijan

WHO will continue its support to Azerbaijan through its country and regional offices and by engaging international experts and partners in the country. Azerbaijan has received laboratory testing kits from WHO. The country will also be receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) for immediate needs to protect frontline health-care workers caring for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19, and laboratory staff who are testing suspected cases.

The Government of Azerbaijan is contributing to global efforts to address COVID-19, coordinating with neighboring countries, and has pledged US$ 5 million to WHO’s strategic preparedness and response plan. This plan outlines the activities and resources needed by international health organizations globally, including WHO, to implement priority public health measures in support of countries to prepare for and respond to COVID-19 until April 2020. It covers international coordination and operational support, scaling up country readiness and response operations, and accelerating priority research and innovation.

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