WHO calls for greater COVID-19 prevention, control measures in prisons

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging world leaders to enhance their novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and control measures to protect populations housed in places of detention.

In his press briefing today, WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus underscored that “overcrowding in prisons undermines hygiene, health, safety and human dignity, a health response to COVID-19 in closed settings alone is insufficient.”

The Director-General called on world leaders to “ensure that COVID-19 preparedness and responses in closed settings are identified and implemented in line with fundamental human rights and are guided by WHO guidance and recommendations to protect human health.”

Additionally, Dr. Ghebreyesus also announced that today the organisation launched the WHO Academy app designed to support health workers, and the WHO Info app to inform the general public during this pandemic.

With these new mobile apps, the WHO is putting the power of learning and knowledge-sharing directly into the hands of health workers and people everywhere.

The WHO Academy app provides health workers with mobile access to a wealth of COVID-19 resources developed by the organisation that include up-to-the-minute guidance, tools, training, and virtual workshops that will help them care for COVID-19 patients and protect themselves.

Additionally, Dr. Ghebreyesus said in response to the pandemic the organisation has “utilised its OpenWHO platform and translated guidance into training, including 68 online courses to improve the response to health emergencies.”

It now has more than 2.5 million enrolments and hosts free training on 10 different topics across 22 languages to support the coronavirus response.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.