The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to produce daily situation reports on the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic, listing all affected countries and the number of confirmed cases.
As of 17 March 2020, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued an exceptional travel advisory, advising British nationals against all but essential international travel. The FCO also warn that any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
Those that now need to change or cancel travel plans should contact their airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers for information. Anyone planning essential travel should check their travel insurance documents carefully, as their policy may now be invalid.
Information relating to travel and COVID-19 is available on the TRAVAX (for healthcare practitioners) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Information on COVID-19 for the general public is available on the NHS Inform (Scotland) and the NHS.UK (rest of the UK) websites.
Information and resources on COVID-19 for health professionals is available on the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) (Scotland) and Public Health England (PHE) (rest of the UK) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 17 March 2020
Tuberculosis (TB) remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, over 4,000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 58 million lives since the year 2000.
In September 2018, heads of state came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN high level meeting. The theme of World TB Day 2020 is ‘It’s time’, which focuses on the urgency to act on these commitments by accelerating the TB response to save lives and end suffering.
Further information about World TB Day can be found on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
Source: WHO, 24 March 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains stable. From 23 February to 14 March 2020, there have been no new confirmed cases of EVD reported. Beni remains the only health zone in which a confirmed case has been reported in the past 42 days. As of 14 March 2020, a cumulative total of 301,585 people have been vaccinated since the start of the outbreak in August 2018.
While the outbreak appears to be coming under control, the WHO highlights that the continuing insecurity and population displacement in previous hotspots is worrying, particularly as continued access and heightened vigilance is required in all health zones to maintain a full response to prevent any resurgence of the disease.
Further information and advice on EVD is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: WHO, 15 March 2020
On 16 March 2020, the Environment Agency launched the National Framework for Water Resources, a long-term plan for meeting the challenges water supplies are likely to face as a result of climate change and population growth in England.
The framework aims to bring together industry, regulators and government to change the way water supplies are used and maintained, seeking to ease the pressure on future water supplies by:
- reducing demand to an average of 110 litres per person per day by 2050
- improving water efficiency across all sectors
- working with water companies to halve leakage rates by 2050
- developing new supplies such as reservoirs, water re-use schemes and desalination plants
- making it easier to move water to where it is needed through regional water transfers
- reducing the use of drought measures that can impact the environment
The framework will guide these groups and deliver a national blueprint for future water resources planning from 2025 to 2050 and beyond. Additionally, the framework also sets out the challenges that water-intensive industries such as agriculture and power generation are likely to face across different parts of the country as a result of climate change, and suggestions on how they can be overcome.
Source: UK Government, 16 March 2020