Search Result

Recommendations for Good Practice in Pandemic Preparedness identified through evaluation of the response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009

To assist Member States with the revision of their pandemic plans after the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic,
WHO/Europe performed an evaluation of the usefulness of pandemic plans and preparedness activities (PPA) undertaken by Member States and WHO in the response to the pandemic. Using a systematic approach, more than 200 individuals representing national, regional and local responders in seven Member States were interviewed. Six major themes considered essential to PPA were identified: communication; coordination; capacity; adaptability/flexibility; leadership; and mutual support. Key issues and recommendations for good practice in pandemic preparedness for Member States and WHO were subsequently identified. PPA had generally been successful, with multi-sectoral involvement, political support and dedicated funding emerging as important success factors. However, in future PPA, greater emphasis will need to be placed on these areas, as well as improving planning for: communications; vaccine procurement and logistics; flexibility of response; use of diagnostic tests; and real-time surveillance.

The global impact of COVID-19 has been profound, and the public health threat it represents is the most serious seen in a respiratory virus since the 1918 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Here we present the results of epidemiological modelling which has informed policymaking in the UK and other countries in recent weeks. In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, we assess the potential role of a number of public health measures – so-called non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) – aimed at reducing contact rates in the population and thereby reducing transmission of the virus. In the results presented here, we apply a previously published microsimulation model to two countries: the UK (Great Britain specifically) and the US. We conclude that the effectiveness of any one intervention in isolation is likely to be limited, requiring multiple interventions to be combined to have a substantial impact on transmission.

How Boris Johnson changed his priorities: save lives first and then salvage the economy, given the UK Governments initial strategy was prepared to sacrifice weak and elderly to prevent too much damage to the economy.

There was a moment when the decisions were made when they wondered what on earth they had done, how far they had been forced to go. A moment when they sat “shellshocked”, reflecting on choices that will change Britain for the rest of our lives. “It took us the weekend to get ourselves into the emotional position where we were comfortable taking the decisions we took,” a minister said. “They were massive.”