On 30 December 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) China Country Office was notified about cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (cause) in Wuhan city, Hubei province. With a new type of coronavirus, COVID-19, identified on 7 January, the speed that the virus then spread to other countries was unprecedented. On 12 March, with 125,260 confirmed cases globally and 416 deaths reported, WHO declared a pandemic.
The virus continues to spread rapidly with around 190 countries/territories affected. Many countries have ordered lockdowns and instructed individuals to self-isolate in a bid to prevent further spreading. WHO is providing daily updates here and guidance for the public (see Protection measures for everyone).
The Global Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for the COVID-19 pandemic has been published and aims to address the additional needs from the pandemic while at the same time sustaining the ongoing humanitarian operations and lifesaving programmes. Further information on this may be found here.
The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and will continue to share any operational information with partners.