WHO Welcomes Joint Efforts With India To Fight Covid-19
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization gestures as he speaks during a news conference on the Coronavirus outbreak in Switzerland. (Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg)

WHO Welcomes Joint Efforts With India To Fight Covid-19

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World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed the world health body's cooperation with India to leverage strategies that helped the country win its war against polio into the response to Covid-19 outbreak, saying such joint efforts will help defeat the pandemic.

The World Health Organization has said it will work with India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to leverage the strategies that helped the country eradicate polio to fight the pandemic.

The WHO's national polio surveillance network will be engaged to strengthen Covid-19 surveillance and its field staff will continue to support immunization and elimination of tuberculosis and other diseases.

India eliminated polio in 2014.

“All of you in the field Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, state rapid response teams and WHO - are our surveillance corona warriors. With your joint efforts we can defeat the coronavirus and save lives,” Harsh Vardhan, India’s Minister for Health & Family Welfare said.

WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said the National Polio Surveillance Project played a critical role in strengthening surveillance for polio that generated useful, timely and accurate data to guide policies, strategies and interventions until transmission of the poliovirus was interrupted in the country, adding that the other WHO field staff involved with elimination of tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases and hypertension control initiative were also significant resources.

“It is now time to use all your experience, knowledge and skills, with the same rigor and discipline that you showed while monitoring polio activities, to support districts with surveillance, contact tracing and containment activities” Singh said.

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The WHO release said strengths of the NPSP team surveillance, data management, monitoring and supervision, and responding to local situations and challenges will be utilized to supplement efforts of National Centre for Disease Control, IDSP and Indian Council of Medical Research to strengthen Covid-19 surveillance.

The NPSP team will also support in sharing information and best practices and help states and districts calibrate their response based on transmission scenarios and local capacities.

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