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.
Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all non-essential travel worldwide for an indefinite period. All other travel advisories, including advice for British nationals trying to return home, can be found on the FCO website.
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, 8 April 2020
Three new cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been detected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). On 10 April 2020, the ministry of health in the DRC confirmed the death from EVD of a 26-year-old man in the city of Beni, North Kivu province. An eleven-month old girl treated at the same health centre also died, and a seven-year old girl is currently being treated for the virus.
The country had recorded its last EVD case on 17 Feb 2020 and was on the verge of ending an outbreak that has killed more than 2200 people since August 2018.
Further information and advice on EVD is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 15 April 2020
On 26 March 2020, the 24th meeting of the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) regarding the international spread of wild poliovirus was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The committee agreed that the situation still constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and recommended the extension of the temporary recommendations. The committee provided the director-general with updated risk categories as below:
- A certificate requirement for polio vaccination under IHR (2005) is required for countries listed below, which are infected with WPV1, cVDPV1 or cVDPV3 with the potential risk of international spread:
- Afghanistan (WPV1)
- Pakistan (WPV1)
- Nigeria (WPV1)
- Malaysia (cVDPV1)
- Myanmar (cVDPV1)
- Philippines (cVDPV1)
- With the exception of countries marked with an asterisk (*), there is no certificate requirement under IHR (2005) for the countries listed below, which are infected with cVDPV2, with potential or demonstrated risk of international spread. However, travellers are encouraged to carry proof of polio vaccination:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- States no longer infected by WPV1 or cVDPV, but which remain vulnerable to re-infection by WPV or cVDPV are listed below:
- Papua New Guinea
Advice for travellers and further information can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 9 April 2020
European Immunisation Week (EIW) runs from 20-26 April 2020. Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region marks EIW to promote immunisation as vital to preventing diseases and protecting life.
The theme of EIW this year celebrates the value of vaccines as an investment in good health and well-being throughout life. As 2020 has been designated the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, WHO Europe will also take this opportunity to commend nurses and midwives for helping to keep their communities healthy through immunisation.
Immunisation appointments for children and pregnant women in Scotland continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Scheduled immunisations are an important and legitimate medical reason to leave home, and people who have an immunisation appointment should attend as planned. Children should attend for a range of vaccinations at eight weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 12-13 months and three years and four months old. Pregnant women are invited to receive the whooping cough vaccine from week sixteen of their pregnancy.
If an individual with an upcoming immunisation appointment, or a member of their household, is showing symptoms of COVID-19, then they must not attend, but should call the number on their invitation to rearrange the appointment. Up-to-date public information about immunisations is available on the NHS Inform website and via Twitter @NHSImmuniseScot.
World Malaria Day falls on 25 April 2020. The World Health Organisation (WHO) joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in promoting ‘Zero malaria starts with me’, a grassroots campaign which aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilise additional resources and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.
Between 2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40% worldwide, from an estimated 743,000 to 446,000. However, in recent years, progress has stalled and according to the WHO World Malaria Report 2019, there were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period 2014 to 2018 and nearly as many people died from the disease in 2018 as the year before.
The ‘Zero malaria’ campaign aims to engage all members of society, including political leaders who control government policy decisions and budgets, private sector companies that will benefit from a malaria-free workforce and communities affected by malaria, whose buy-in and ownership of malaria control interventions is critical to success.
Source: WHO, April 2020