3 August 2020
Commission concludes talks to secure future coronavirus vaccine for Europeans
The European Commission concluded exploratory talks with a pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19. The envisaged contract would provide for an option to purchase 300 million doses of the vaccine, on behalf of all EU Member States. Read more.
Coronavirus: Commission strengthens preparedness for future outbreaks
On 15 July, the Commission presented immediate short-term measures to strengthen EU health preparedness for COVID-19 outbreaks. In the current context where new outbreaks spread across the EU, the Communication insists on all necessary actions needed to enhance preparedness, including testing and contact tracing, improved public health surveillance and widened access to medical countermeasures. Read more.
European Commission authorises first treatment against COVID-19
On 29 July, the European Commission signed a contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead to secure treatment doses of Veklury, the brand name for Remdesivir, which was the first medicine authorised at EU level for treatment of COVID-19. As from August, the medicine will be made available to Member States and the UK. Read more.
Commission strengthens support for treatment through convalescent plasma
The European Commission invited more than 200 blood-collection services around the EU to apply for funding for the purchase of plasmapheresis equipment which takes plasma from donors. The aim of this action, part of the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), is to support the treatment of new COVID-19 patients by increasing EU capacity to collect convalescent plasma recovered from COVID-19 patients. Read more.
New EU framework to prepare and manage health threats discussed with Health Ministers
On 16 July Commissioner Kyriakides joined EU Health ministers at a videoconference to discuss topics such as the European Health Data Space and the supply of medicinal products in the EU. The Commissioner also stressed that the COVID-19 crisis showed the need for a stronger role for the ECDC and potentially for a new framework on cross-border threats: “We need a new framework at EU level to prepare and manage health threats. We need a stronger mandate to coordinate. This could involve new legislation or a revision of the current Decision on cross-border threats to health”. Read more.
Coronavirus: mobile tracing and warning apps one step closer
The European Commission adopted an Implementing Decision this month to support the establishment of a voluntary gateway service that facilitates the interoperability of contact tracing and warning apps. This decision will mean that citizens, in particular those traveling in the EU, will only need to install one app. Read more.
30 July 2020
Connecting Communities: for COVID-19
The Connecting Communities newsletters include interesting news on public policies, healthcare innovations, isolation tips and more.
13 July 2020
We are going through unprecedented times that require unprecedented measures. The world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic which it is having its repercussions on the way the international scientific community is organizing its meetings as well. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have required the cancellation of several global congresses. As a leading public health event, we cannot risk spreading the Covid-19 virus further by physically bringing thousands of people together in Rome in October. It is in this light that the Congress Management Committee (CMC) has decided to move the 16th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH 2020) into a virtual congress to be held 12 – 16 October 2020. Since we announced that the WCPH 2020 will be held as an entirely virtual and online congress we have worked hard on revising the programme of plenary and parallel sessions, networking opportunities and exhibition areas.
The virtual WCPH 2020 will be an exciting and engaging event with live streams of eight plenary sessions, 30 World Leadership Dialogues and 150 workshops. We will bring all accepted oral papers in pre-recorded sessions to life on our virtual platform with options for attendees to interact through chat boxes. Posters are clustered in congress tracks and viewable at all times. WCPH 2020 will offer an incredibly full and varied programme from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm CET to accommodate attendees living in different time zones across the globe.
When the WCPH actually takes place in October it is more relevant than ever. As the world confronts the coronavirus, the sharing of knowledge becomes ever more important, and the WCPH is the place to do it. A dedicated Covid-19 track will be featured, covering the latest on corona control policies, the efficacy of control measures, the impact on health systems and community services and the lessons to be learned from it.
Click for the Covid-19 programme here.
12 June 2020
On behalf of its members and partnering institutions, and based on four focus groups and a two-part survey, the EFPC has prepared a statement on Covid-19.
"It is our intention that this statement highlights the impacts that the current COVID-19 pandemic will have on two vulnerable groups: within the field of mental health and within elderly populations. Furthermore, we wish to highlight the collateral damage as a result of health systems operating within ‘COVID-19 Mode’."
Based upon this statement, the EFPC has also created several messages for health policy which can be used as a rough guide when implementing and/or creating policy.
10 June 2020
The Health System Response Monitor (HSRM) is an evolving collection of evidence on health systems' responses to COVID-19
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
9 June 2020
Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Derek K Chu, Elie A Akl, Stephanie Duda, Karla Solo, Sally Yaacoub, Holger J Schünemann on behalf of the COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review Group Effort (SURGE) study authors
Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection for prevention of COVID-19
C Raina MacIntyre, Quanyi Wang
Informal home care providers: the forgotten health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Emily Ying Yang Chan, Nina Gobat, Jean H Kim, Elizabeth A Newnham, Zhe Huang, Heidi Hung, Caroline Dubois, Kevin Kei Ching Hung, Eliza Lai Yi Wong, Samuel Yeung Shan Wong
Active case finding with case management: the key to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic
Zhongjie Li, Qiulan Chen, Luzhao Feng, Lance Rodewald, Yinyin Xia, Hailiang Yu, Ruochen Zhang, Zhijie An, Wenwu Yin, Wei Chen, Ying Qin, Zhibin Peng, Ting Zhang, Daxin Ni, Jinzhao Cui, Qing Wang, Xiaokun Yang, Muli Zhang, Xiang Ren, Dan Wu, Xiaojin Sun, Yuanqiu Li, Lei Zhou, Xiaopeng Qi, Tie Song, George F Gao, Zijian Feng and the China CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response Strategy Team The Lancet
Quantifying additional COVID-19 symptoms will save lives
Cristina Menni, Carole H Sudre, Claire J Steves, Sebastien Ourselin, Tim D Spector
Early evidence of pronounced brain involvement in fatal COVID-19 outcomes
Claus Hann von Weyhern, Ines Kaufmann, Frauke Neff, Marcus Kremer
The WHO we want
Olivier Nay, Marie-Paule Kieny, Lelio Marmora, Michel Kazatchkine
Department of Error
Retraction—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis
Mandeep R Mehra, Frank Ruschitzka, Amit N Patel
5 June 2020
Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during the COVID-19 pandemic in Paris, France: a population-based, observational study
Eloi Marijon, Nicole Karam, Daniel Jost, David Perrot, Benoit Frattini, Clément Derkenne, Ardalan Sharifzadehgan, Victor Waldmann, Frankie Beganton, Kumar Narayanan, Antoine Lafont, Wulfran Bougouin, Xavier Jouven
The Lancet Public Health
Rethinking the role of the school after COVID-19
Annamaria Colao, Prisco Piscitelli, Manuela Pulimeno, Salvatore Colazzo, Alessandro Miani, Stefania Giannini
The Lancet Public Health
COVID-19: long-term effects on the community response to cardiac arrest?
Gavin D Perkins, Keith Couper
The Lancet Public Health
4 June 2020
This series of situational and policy briefs summarises key practical and operational aspects of the COVID-19 response in relation to migrants and refugees. They include public health and policy recommendations and perspectives that build on the Lancet Migration Global Statement recommendations to ensure migrants and refugees: have access to healthcare; are included in prevention, preparedness and response; and are part of responsible and transparent public information strategies, during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are intended to be short briefs providing key information on particular migrant and refugee contexts and thematics, rather than fully comprehensive country or regional overviews.
20 May 2020
For several months now, the world has been gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is obvious that international collaboration is key to combatting a global outbreak of this magnitude. Coordination and concerted action are needed, as well as the exchange of surveillance data and research outcomes. As the specialized United Nations agency for health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has a pivotal role in this, facilitating interaction and collaboration between all the member states, continuously monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, and developing guidance for member states to put in place appropriate measures. Read the full statement here.
19 May 2020
As COVID-19 poses an unprecedented challenge to all of us, it is vital that the measures adopted are human rights compliant and people-centered. The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has created a dedicated webpage with human rights resources to inform and assist policy-makers with the COVID-19 response. New guidance and materials are uploaded on a daily basis.
12 May 2020
EUPHA and EPHA joint statement: Digitalisation to support an effective public health response to the COVID-19 emergency
The COVID-19 crisis is demonstrating the potential of digital health technology to manage some of our greatest public health challenges. In COVID-19 times, communicating the purpose, objectives and direction of digitalisation in public health is increasingly important as data-driven solutions become more common, presenting new ethical challenges. The access and affordability, inclusion, diversity and transparency, the intended and unintended effects around these new technological developments must also be critically addressed. To fully leverage digital innovation in public health, EPHA and EUPHA aim to create a
suitable environment for the introduction of emerging digital technologies, including by better informing policymakers about real societal needs and by training public health professionals, patients and other end users so they can effectively engage with digital tools in practice, policy and research.
Read the full statement here.
The COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor, a joint undertaking between the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, is a new online platform to provide countries and stakeholders in the WHO European Region with evidence of how national health systems are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The website systematically maps and analyses health system responses to the pandemic across the Region. Thus, it offers cross-country comparisons for analyses of the measures being taken by national authorities and also tracks wider public health initiatives.
A cross-country analysis can be found here.
7 May 2020
Softening the blow of the pandemic: will the International Monetary Fund and World Bank make things worse?
This article was published in The Lancet Global News on 9 April. Click on the title to access the article.
22 April 2020
Statement EUPHA on Combatting COVID-19: the importance of sharing knowledge to create a comprehensive and publicly available evidence-base
The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting everyone worldwide, and policymakers, scientists and practitioners are exploring uncharted territory while trying to get to grips with this new virus. Especially in such times of great uncertainty, building on up-to-date and accurate information is crucial. Therefore, EUPHA released a statement on the importance of sharing data, research outcomes and experiences to build a common, growing body of intelligence. A comprehensive and publicly available evidence-base is key when battling the outbreak and saving lives.
24 March 2020
Reducing the impact of the coronavirus crisis on those ‘left behind’ – Disadvantaged Migrants and Ethnic Minorities (MEM).
The Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health section of EUPHA comprises of more than 1800 practitioners, scholars and researchers across Europe and beyond (81 countries). This statement and call for action has been prepared by the EUPHA MEM Section Steering Committee and others on behalf of the membership.
The Statement was kindly translated in Spanish and can be found here.
4 March 2020
ASPHER provides a COVID-19 Resource Page, which includes information, communications and best practices from Schools of Public Health - both in English and local languages. https://www.aspher.org/covid-19-coronavirus-response.html
26 February 2020
In February 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) placed Disease X on the list of priority diseases in its research and development blueprint for action to prevent epidemics. According to the WHO, Disease X represents “the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease”. Exactly two years later, public health agencies and their partners around the world are preparing against and responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by a previously unknown virus which was first detected in China in December 2019. As of February 25th 2020, the virus has already infected at least 80,239 individuals of which at least 279 (including 7 deaths) in Europe. As the umbrella organisation for public health associations in the European region, EUPHA stands with its members and colleagues in each country who are working tirelessly to detect and manage cases, identify contacts and prepare health services for worst-case scenarios. At a time where sustained transmission in places outside of China, including in some European countries, is looking increasingly likely, preparedness and surveillance remain critical. EUPHA is particularly watching the evolving situation in Italy, recognising that similar situations are likely to occur in other countries in the region.
Our understanding of the virus and its spread is changing every day, and critical information that impacts on how the outbreak can be managed is emerging every day. As such it remains essential that public health professionals and others involved in the management of the outbreak keep themselves up to date with the latest evidence to ensure evidence-based actions of maximum effectiveness. At the same time, the volume of information available can be overwhelming and misinformation, deliberate or not, can cause confusion. It is important therefore to obtain information from trustworthy sources. Regional and global public agencies, as well as scientific publishers have made key publications, data and guidelines freely available through regularly update portal and EUPHA recommends its members to regularly look for updates through the following sources:
For the latest global data, evidence and guidance:
For EU specific guidance, surveillance updates and risk assessments:
In addition, many scientific publishers are expediting the publication of COVID-19 related evidence and making it available free of charge. Examples include:
- The New England Journal of Medicine – https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus
- The Lancet – https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus
- Eurosurveillance – https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/2019-ncov
- Cambridge University Press – https://www.cambridge.org/core/news/free-access-to-coronavirus-research
- Elsevier – https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center
- Springer – https://www.springernature.com/gp/researchers/campaigns/coronavirus
You can also follow the outbreak and receive key new information through the EUPHA Infectious Diseases Control section Twitter account: @euphaidc.
EUPHA stands with its members through these challenging times and will continue to actively monitor the situation in order to offer the most appropriate support it can to all those currently involved in fighting this threat.