Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Operations update #5 – Emergency appeal n° MDR00005 (06 March 2020)



• Outbreak guidance for IFRC and National Societies (version 4, 28 Feb) on the GO platform.

• There are critical shortages of PPE globally. In order to ensure PPE are available to front-line healthcare workers who cannot reduce their risk of exposure in other ways, National Soceities are requested to analyse their PPE needs based on exposure risk; guidance for the rational use of PPE by Red Cross Red Crescent personnel (version 1, 2 March) is available on the GO platform.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement

• COVID-19: Guidance note for IFRC and National Societies (2 Feb 2020) Social Stigma associated with COVID-19 (20 February 2020). – EN SP

• Key tips and discussion points for community workers, volunteers and community networks (23 February 2020). EN SP


• Media statements the COVID-19 response are available here

• Social media highlights:

Twitter (click latest)

Medium piece showcasing RCRC global response

How advice and design tackle the coronavirus

LinkedIn – a live Q&A with IFRC Director of Health

Facebook and Instagram- National Society COVID-19 response

Our TikTok videos on coronavirus have over 100 million views

The latest WHO situation reports are available here and the latest WHO visualization and case numbers available here.


Global Overview and Highlights

• Travel advice has been issued by the IFRC, ICRC and some National Societies, discouraging non essential travel. Where possible, coferences, workshop or trainings will be done remotely or postponed. Working from home is encouraged by some.

• Some countries are still hesitant to discuss COVID-19 which hinders National Societies early risk communications and community engagement efforts. There is a continuos need to address stigma and encourage transparent information sharing and community engagement.

Red Cross and Red Crescent activities globally


Communications on COVID-19 is focused on promoting Red Cross Red Crescent response, supporting National Societies communications, and addressing misinformation and stigma. Media statements the COVID-19 response are available here. Key messages and a list of spokespersons are updated/shared regularly within IFRC, with ICRC and with National Society communication focal points. Media interest and coverage of Red Cross Red Crescent response remains high.

A webinar on The Role of Media in Containing COVID-19 and Saving Lives was hosted in 4 languages by IFRC, WHO, BBC Media Action and Internews to answer journalists’ questions and share online resources to keep people safe and informed. More than 170 journalists across the globe participated. Recordings are available here:

• Session 1 in English, français, and ????

• Session 2 in English and español

Cross media assets for all National Societies have been created and are communicated across all IFRC social platforms to help our audiences understand ways to protect themselves and their loved ones, as well as showing the different aspects of the Red Cross Red Crescent response. A new set of infographics reflect our call for action for people to learn, act and help.


The IFRC, in close collaboration with global and local health partners, is providing continual risk assessment and guidance to support National Soceities to implement high-quality, effective and appropriate epidemic response, social support and epidemic impact mitigation activities.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)

The IFRC, in close collaboration with WHO and UNICEF, has developed an RCCE strategy template and guidance with recommendations for each phase of the epidemic (preparedness, containment and mitigation). The strategy highlights the changes in individual behaviours and social norms that are needed in each phase. It guides Red Cross Red Crescent 3 membership in the community engagement approach as many countries move to a more aggressive containment strategy. Key to the success of this strategy will be community action and ownership. The Red Cross Red Crescent network has a leading role to play in this.

The stigma guide developed by IFRC in collaboration with UNICEF and WHO is being widely used to inform social media approaches and guide dialogue with media outlets across the three organisations and the wider media and NGOs network. The IFRC is leading the developrapid operational assessment tools to gather people’s perceptions and understanding of the epidemic and track feedback and rumours that can inform a stronger epidemic preparedness and response approach.

Business Continuity Plans

Due to the increase of cases in Switzerland, business continuity process at Geneva HQ level has been scaled up and a dedicated team has been established. The team is covering plans for Geneva, Regional Offices, Country Cluster Support Teams and National Societies. In the coming days a cross analysis between the country epidemiological risk analysis and ongoing Red Cross Red Crescent operations will take place to ensure adequate and relevant business continuity planning.


IFRC is supporting coordination structures at the global and local level, to ensure National Societies’ epidemic preparedness and response activities are appropriate and fill gaps in the global and local response. Effective strategic and operational coordination with partners such as national Ministries of Health, Unicef, WHO and other response partners is ongoing and will continue to be invested in to ensure operational coherence.

Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Posted in Health March 6, 2020