COVID-19 Project in Mons, Belgium

Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Read: All MSF updates on COVID-19
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MSF teams are racing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in over 70 countries, including opening projects in new countries as they become pandemic hotspots.

Our COVID-19 response focuses on three main priorities:

•    supporting authorities to provide care for COVID-19 patients;
•    protecting people who are vulnerable and at risk;
•    and keeping essential medical services running.

Across our projects, MSF teams have been improving infection prevention and control measures to protect patients and staff, and prevent further spread of the new coronavirus. It is absolutely crucial to prevent health facilities from amplifying the pandemic or being forced to close their doors.

Health systems worldwide are urgently in need of personal protective equipment – which face shortages of crucial items such as masks and aprons – so that essential medical services can stay open.

Having access to protective equipment, to COVID-19 tests, to oxygen and to drugs for supportive care, becomes more and more urgent as COVID-19 spreads in countries with little access to these tools.

Scroll down to read the latest news and articles from our COVID projects.

*Source for global pandemic timeline information: Devex.com

Key concerns during COVID-19

We see this new coronavirus has crippled some of the most advanced health systems in the world. This has been in countries with a social safety net, where most people have access to running water and the space to self-isolate. Our greatest concern is for when the virus takes hold in places with more fragile health systems and no, or limited, basic safety net. Other concerns we have include:
Supplying oxygen to COVID-19 patients: Essential, and a huge challenge (EN)
video

Supplying oxygen to COVID-19 patients: Essential, and a huge challenge

How do we supply oxygen to COVID-19 patients?

We cannot treat a person seriously ill with COVID-19 without oxygen. 80 per cent of people hospitalised because of COVID-19 need between three and 15 litres of oxygen per minute. For the 20 per cent who remain, the needs are more severe: more than 20 litres per minute.

Oxygen is therefore vital for them: without it they risk dying. But how do we give oxygen to our patients? What are the constraints of these various methods? And how do we put these systems in place in the countries where we work, particularly in a conflict context like Yemen?

 
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13 March 2020