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Our COVID-19 Response
After an outbreak of an illness, a new coronavirus was identified and has been named COVID-19.
On 30 January, World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
On March 11, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Most of the world’s countries and territories have now reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the risk of continued spread between and within countries is very high.
GENERAL COVID-19 INFORMATION
Facts, not fear, help people protect themselves and their loved ones during a disease outbreak. Volunteers are engaging with the public about this virus, sharing disease prevention information, dispelling rumours, and reducing panic. It’s important to seek information from trustworthy sources like the local Ministry of Health, Red Cross and Red Crescent, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
FACTS, NOT FEAR
We need solidarity, not stigma, to support communities and people affected by this outbreak. The emergence and spread of this disease has caused confusion, anxiety and fear. These factors can result in harmful stereotypes. We know from past outbreaks that fear and mistrust can increase the spread of disease and hamper all response efforts, driving people to hide any illness and prevent them from seeking immediate care to avoid discrimination.
THE NEED FOR SOLIDARITY
It is important to correct misconceptions, and at the same time as acknowledge that people’s feelings and subsequent behaviours are very real, even if the underlying assumption is false. Fear is never an excuse for racism or hate. We emphasize the importance of acting together to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, and to support families and communities withstand the serious health, social and economic hardships that will result.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is working closely with the WHO and Red Cross National Societies around the world are working with their own health ministries.
As a trusted partner and voice in this outbreak, the Red Cross and Red Crescent has an important role in dispelling rumours and misinformation as well as preventing stigma.
RUMOURS & MISINFORMATION
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world have long experience in preparing for and responding to disease outbreaks. Community-based volunteers have the access and trust that people are seeking. Volunteers around the world are supporting communities in preparing for and protecting themselves during this health crisis.
It is important to share credible sources of information, be intentional and thoughtful when communicating on social media and other platforms, and show supportive behaviours around COVID-19.
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