UNICEF Global Situation Report No. 1 (Novel Coronavirus)

17 March 2020

two girls washing their hands

  • Since early January 2020, UNICEF has been preparing and responding to the epidemic of COVID-19 around the world, knowing that the virus is spreading to children and communities. We continue to work closely with WHO, Governments and our partners to stop the transmission of the virus, reduce morbidity and mortality and minimize its effects in health and social services and in the most vulnerable populations.
  • On 12 March the WHO Director-General reiterated in a statement to member states that countries should not give up on stopping the outbreak now that WHO has characterized it as a pandemic.
  • The size and evolution of the outbreak and current knowledge on its ability to be transmitted through communities, signals that the virus will still spread further globally, despite efforts by national authorities and the international community to contain it. Urgent efforts are needed to stop transmission of the outbreak where it is spreading and to prepare health systems and communities to mitigate the impacts.
  • UNICEF has delivered 118,791 N95 and 180,850 surgical masks, 38,543 protective suits, 13,844 gowns, 45,632 protective goggles, 1.2 million surgical gloves, 20,004 heavy-duty/examination gloves, 4,991 sample collection kits and 5,916 thermometers to the Government of China.
  • UNICEF-WHO-IFRC Technical Guidance on Safe School Operations: Under the leadership of UNICEF, and working with the IFRC and the WHO, a new guidance to help protect children from COVID-19 and support safe school operations was issued on 10 March. The guidance provides critical considerations and practical checklists to keep schools safe. It also advises national and local authorities on how to adapt and implement emergency plans for educational facilities.
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