Preparing for COVID-19 : Guidance for Pacific Islands and areas in the WHO Western Pacific Region, V.1 – 14 February 2020 – CLICK HERE

1. Background

This document aims to provide Pacific authorities with guidance on priority areas and actions to prepare for potential cases of COVID-19.

There remain many unknowns about the virus including the clinical spectrum of disease, its severity, and transmissibility. These factors are critical to conducting risk assessments in order to determine appropriate and proportional public health responses. In this context, Pacific countries and areas (PICs) are encouraged to leverage IHR core capacities and existing influenza pandemic plans to prepare for multiple scenarios, including potential cases within their borders.

2. Priority Areas

Priority should be given to measures aimed at active surveillance, managing severe cases, preventing onward transmission, alleviating strain on health facilities/services, effective public communication and reducing overall social and economic impact.

Actions are suggested in the following priority areas:

• Incident management, planning & multi-sectoral coordination

• Surveillance and risk assessment

• Laboratory

• Clinical management and health care services

• Infection prevention and control

• Non-pharmaceutical public health measures

• Risk communication

• Operational logistics