WHO & Regional Offices [to 4 July 2020]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 4 July 2020]
4 July 2020 News release
WHO discontinues hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment arms for COVID-19
WHO today accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms. The Solidarity Trial was established by WHO to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients.
The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the Solidarity trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the 1-2 July WHO Summit on COVID-19 research and innovation.
These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.
For each of the drugs, the interim results do not provide solid evidence of increased mortality. There were, however, some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on Discovery trial, a participant in the Solidarity trial. These will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication.
This decision applies only to the conduct of the Solidarity trial in hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19. The interim Solidarity results are now being readied for peer-reviewed publication.

Timeline of WHO’s response to COVID-19
Last updated 30 June 2020
29 June 2020 Statement
WHO provides this timeline of the Organization’s COVID-19 response activities for general information. WHO will update the timeline on a regular basis and in light of evolving events and new information. Unless noted otherwise, country-specific information and data are as reported to WHO by its Member States.

This timeline supersedes the WHO Rolling Updates and WHO Timeline statement published in April 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive and does not contain details of every event or WHO activity.

As of 29 June 2020, the following milestones and events focused on COVID-19 have taken place:
The Director-General and Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme have held 75 media briefings. The Director-General’s opening remarks, transcripts, videos and audio recordings for these media briefings are available online.
There have been 23 Member State Briefings and information sessions.
WHO convenes international expert networks, covering topics such as clinical management, laboratory and virology, infection prevention and control, mathematical modeling, seroepidemiology, and research and development for diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, which have held frequent teleconferences, starting in early January. These networks include thousands of scientists, medical and public health professionals from around the world.
EPI-WIN, WHO’s information network for epidemics, has convened 60 technical webinars, making available 287 expert panelists to more than 13,500 participants, from more than 120 countries and territories, with representation from as many as 460 organizations.
The OpenWHO platform has had more than 3.7 million enrollments, over 80% of which are in COVID-19 courses. Free training is available on 13 different topics translated into 31 languages to support the coronavirus response, for a total of 100 COVID-19 courses.
WHO’s landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines lists 17 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation and 132 in preclinical evaluation.
The Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) has met 35 times. STAG-IH provides independent advice and analysis to the WHO Health Emergencies Programme on the infectious hazards that may pose a threat to global health security.
In addition to the selected guidance included below, all of WHO’s technical guidance on COVID-19 can be found online here. 
All events listed below are in the Geneva, Switzerland time zone (CET/CEST). Note that the dates listed for documents are based on when they were finalized and timestamped….



Weekly Epidemiological Record, 3 July 2020, vol. 95, 27 (pp. 301–324)
:: Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo (Update, 26 June 2020)
:: Rubella vaccines: WHO position paper – July 2020
:: COVID-19 update



WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: WHO urges strong COVID-19 safety measures as African countries to resume air travel
02 July 2020
As African countries begin to reopen borders and air spaces, it is crucial that governments take effective measures to mitigate the risk of a surge in infections due to the resumption of commercial flights and airport operations.
:: Kenyan communities taking the lead in curbing COVID-19 spread 02 July 2020
By the time the public health officials reached a Maasai community not far from Nairobi, Julius Oloiboni had already mobilized everyone to protect themselves and others against COVID-19.
:: Community leaders help drive COVID-19 testing in Nigeria’s Kano 29 June 2020

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
No new digest content identified.

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
No new digest content identified.

WHO European Region EURO
:: New 5-year programme for health in Europe on the agenda at virtual annual meeting 03-07-2020
:: WHO/Europe launches new podcast – Health in Europe 01-07-2020
:: WHO addresses European Parliament on COVID-19 response 01-07-2020
:: WHO reinforces COVID-19 response efforts in Turkey: millions of protective items distributed 30-06-2020
:: WHO-backed telephone counselling in Turkey for those dealing with COVID-19 stress 30-06-2020

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: Statement by WHO Regional Director Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari on COVID-19
Yesterday, 30 June marked six months since WHO received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China The six-month mark of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths world-wide. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is speeding up. A few days ago, our Region passed its own significant and concerning milestone, with more than one million people now infected with COVID-19. The number of cases reported in June alone is higher than the total number of cases reported during the four months following the first reported case in the Region on 29 January…

WHO Western Pacific Region
:: Virtual press conference with World Economic Forum on COVID-19: 1 July 2020
Remarks by Dr Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific