COVID-19 Resources

Welcome to the I-TECH COVID-19 Resources page. Below you will find a catalog of weekly digests sent to I-TECH worldwide staff, with a round-up of news from our country offices, as well as national and I-TECH responses. To the right, you’ll find the most recent PEPFAR guidance, lists of resources and presentations our staff has found helpful, and FAQs we have received from staff.

PLEASE NOTE: The weekly digests below represent a summary of daily communications from I-TECH country offices to I-TECH headquarters in Seattle. They are based on our country office perspective only and are not meant to represent a full national picture in each country.

While we do our best to keep our staff up to date with guidelines, one of the most reliable sources of information is the World Health Organization Coronavirus Technical Guidance website.

If you are interested in UW resources, please visit the UW COVID-19 resources page for general information about telework, UW resources, and UW information sources.

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digests

11 September 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 11 September 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 11 September 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 26,121,999 27,973,127 7% 864,618 905,426 5%
Africa (1.2 B) 1,066,906 1,101,618 3%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 1,724 2,126 23% 6 9 50%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 18,103 18,815 4% 117 119 2%
Kenya (51.4 M) 34,493 35,460 3% 581 607 4%
Malawi (18.1 M) 5,579 5,653 1% 175 176 1%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)
4,117 4,764 16% 25 28 12%
Namibia (2.5 M) 7,844 9,108 16% 82 93 13%
South Africa
(57.8 M)
630,595 642,431 2% 14,389 15,168 5%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 6,638 7,429 12% 206 222 8%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 274 274 0% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 3,936,747 4,562,414 16% 68,472 76,261 11%
Europe (741.4 M) 4,343,514 4,645,519 7%    
Ukraine (42 M) 128,228 145,612 14% 2,710 3,023 12%
Americas (1 B) 13,725,652 14,447,680 5%
Haiti (11.1 M) 8,258 8,429 2% 206 215 4%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 2,823 3,437 22% 27 38 41%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 1,941 2,663 37% 28 40 43%
USA (382.2 M) 6,050,444 6,304,181 4% 184,614 189,709 3%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

South Africa has seen a decrease in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Hospitals are closing COVID-19 units, though they will reopen if there is a second surge. The state of emergency in Mozambique expired 6 September. Mozambique’s president has declared a “state of national public calamity” for an indefinite period, which has fewer restrictions than the initial emergency. As part of the new declaration, international borders will reopen, and flights will resume. Face masks are still mandatory and some limitations regarding number of persons gathering will be maintained.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

 

Country

Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)**
Botswana 0 30
Namibia 1 33
Zimbabwe 15*** 220***

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined
***Numbers have not been updated since last week

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 9 September. Updates included clinical guidance for working with older clients struggling with COVID-19.

4 September 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 4 September 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 4 September 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 24,257,989 26,121,999 8% 827,246 864,618 5%
Africa (1.2 B) 1,026,101 1,066,906 4%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 1,633 1,724 6% 6 6 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 17,603 18,103 3% 114 117 3%
Kenya (51.4 M) 33,016 34,493 4% 564 581 3%
Malawi (18.1 M) 5,474 5,579 2% 173 175 1%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)
3,590 4,117 15% 21 25 19%
Namibia (2.5 M) 6,431 7,844 22% 59 82 39%
South Africa
(57.8 M)
615,701 630,595 2% 13,502 14,389 7%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 6,251 6,638 6% 179 206 15%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 273 274 0.4% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 3,387,500 3,936,747 16% 61,529 68,472 11%
Europe (741.4 M) 4,100,893 4,343,514 6%    
Ukraine (42 M) 112,059 128,228 14% 2,403 2,710 13%
Americas (1 B) 12,869,643 13,725,652 7%
Haiti (11.1 M) 8,151 8,258 1% 200 206 3%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 1,804 2,823 56% 19 27 42%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 1,429 1,941 36% 15 28 87%
USA (382.2 M) 5,765,325 6,050,444 5% 178,561 184,614 3%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

In Namibia, a nationwide curfew was implemented, the lockdown was extended in certain areas and lifted in others. PEPFAR distributed a geographic strategy in Namibia to guide service delivery in areas where community spread is imminent or currently occurring.

I-TECH Updates

The Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe has recognized Zim-TTECH’s outreach approach for comprehensive HIV services and encouraged all partners to implement similar models. Zim-TTECH’s outreach services include ART resupply, HIV testing services, ART initiation, tuberculosis preventative therapy, viral load testing, prophylaxis for HIV-exposed infants, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and condom distribution. The program activities were also featured on the US Embassy Harare Facebook page.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

 

Country

Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)**
Botswana 0 30
Namibia 1 32
Zimbabwe 15 220

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 2 September. Updates included clinical guidance for HIV-positive clients who have been out of care for a year or more and for persons with advanced HIV disease.

28 August 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 28 August 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 28 August 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 22,492,312 24,257,989 8% 788,503 827,246 5%
Africa (1.2 B) 975,551 1,026,101 5%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 1,308 1,633 25% 3 6 100%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 17,232 17,603 2% 111 114 3%
Kenya (51.4 M) 31,015 33,016 6% 506 564 11%
Malawi (18.1 M) 5,240 5,474 4% 164 173 5%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)
3,045 3,590 18% 19 21 11%
Namibia (2.5 M) 4,665 6,431 38% 39 59 51%
South Africa
(57.8 M)
596,060 615,701 3% 12,423 13,502 9%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 5,643 6,251 11% 150 179 19%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 273 273 0% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 2,905,823 3,387,500 17% 54,849 61,529 12%
Europe (741.4 M) 3,874,604 4,100,893 6%    
Ukraine (42 M) 98,537 112,059 14% 2,184 2,403 10%
Americas (1 B) 12,028,928 12,869,643 7%
Haiti (11.1 M) 7,997 8,151 2% 196 200 2%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 1,192 1,804 51% 14 19 36%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 730 1,429 96% 12 15 25%
USA (382.2 M) 5,477,305 5,765,325 5% 172,033 178,561 4%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

I-TECH Updates

The Kenya team received a notice of award for their follow on for the global health security agenda. The focus of their award has shifted primarily to COVID-19 infection prevention and control and complements the previous infection prevention and control through quality improvement efforts.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

 

Country

Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)**
Botswana 0 20
Malawi 0 0
Namibia 1 13
Zimbabwe 18 25

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 26 August. Further guidance related to infection prevention and control measures was given and the Global Health Supply Chain Program – Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) risk report for HIV service delays was updated. Intervention suggestions were also described for country-level drug shortages.

21 August 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 21 August 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 21 August 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 20,687,815 22,492,312 9% 750,400 788,503 5%
Africa (1.2 B) 916,644 975,551 6%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 1,066 1,308 23% 2 3 50%
Côte d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 16,847 17,232 2% 105 111 6%
Kenya (51.4 M) 28,104 31,015 10% 456 506 11%
Malawi (18.1 M) 4,752 5,240 10% 152 164 8%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)
2,559 3,045 19% 19 19 0%
Namibia (2.5 M) 3,406 4,665 37% 22 39 77%
South Africa
(57.8 M)
568,919 596,060 5% 11,010 12,423 13%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 4,893 5,643 15% 122 150 23%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 273 273 0% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 2,461,190 2,905,823 18% 48,040 54,849 14%
Europe (741.4 M) 3,668,652 3,874,604 6%    
Ukraine (42 M) 86,140 98,537 14% 1,992 2,184 10%
Americas (1 B) 11,109,443 12,028,928 8%
Haiti (11.1 M) 7,781 7,997 3% 192 196 2%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 1,065 1,192 12% 14 14 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 369 730 98% 8 12 50%
USA (382.2 M) 5,150,407 5,477,305 6% 164,826 172,033 4%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

Due to increased cases, the government of Trinidad and Tobago will maintain or reinstate further restrictions if cases do not decline. In Jamaica, non-residents visiting from high-risk countries are required to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test prior to arrival and some areas within Jamaica that higher number of cases have extended quarantines. In South Africa, inter-provincial travel restrictions have been lifted, though international travel restrictions remain in place. Certain economic sectors such as accommodation, hospitality, restaurants, and others are permitted to open with approved protocols. In Zimbabwe, closures of 27 Harare city clinics have overwhelmed the Central Hospital due to an ongoing health care worker strike. Many staff who are in quarantine due to an exposure to a COVID-19 case are not able to return to work due to test kit shortages. A “COVID-19 free” certificate is required by many institutions, which can only be obtained through testing.

I-TECH Updates

Zim-TTECH is conducting community outreach HIV services to serve clients from 15 high volume sites to support continuity of services given clinic closures. CDC in Zimbabwe has allowed Zim-TTECH to pay for PCR COVID-19 tests for staff who need them to return to work and approved personal protective equipment procurement using COVID-19 funds.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

 

Country

Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)** Returned to Work***
Botswana 0 18 17
Malawi 0 0 6
Namibia 1 13 7
South Africa 0 0 5
Zimbabwe**** 6 63 22

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined
***Cumulative
****Zimbabwe numbers not updated this week

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 19 August. Further guidance related to clinic closures was given including how to prepare for disruption of services.

14 August 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 14 August 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 14 August 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 18,854,287 20,687,815 10% 708,639 750,400 6%
Africa (1.2 B) 848,053 916,644 8%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 804 1,066 33% 2 2 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 16,349 16,847 3% 103 105 2%
Kenya (51.4 M) 23,873 28,104 18% 391 456 17%
Malawi (18.1 M) 4,426 4,752 7% 136 152 12%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)
2,079 2,559 23% 15 19 27%
Namibia (2.5 M) 2,504 3,406 34% 12 22 83%
South Africa
(57.8 M)
529,877 568,919 7% 9,298 11,010 18%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 4,339 4,893 13% 84 122 45%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 243 273 12% 0 0
India (1.4 B) 2,027,074 2,461,190 21% 41,585 48,040 16%
Europe (741.4 M) 3,477,225 3,668,652 6%    
Ukraine (42 M) 76,808 86,140 12% 1,819 1,992 10%
Americas (1 B) 10,135,322 11,109,443 10%
Haiti (11.1 M) 7,544 7,781 3% 171 192 12%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 928 1,065 15% 12 14 17%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 207 369 78% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 4,781,612 5,150,407 8% 157,357 164,826 5%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

Maputo, Mozambique, has been declared a community transmission spot, following the northern cities of Nampula and Pemba. Prevention measures have been put into law in Malawi effective 7 August; people must wear masks in public, and most social gatherings must be limited to 10 or less. In Botswana, the greater Gaborone lockdown has been lifted, and HIV services will resume. There will be a stepwise reopening of services (e.g., schools), but alcohol remains restricted.

I-TECH Updates

The Malawi team is working on an NOA response for $100K in central COVID funds.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

 

Country

Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)** Returned to Work***
Botswana 0 15 1
Malawi 0 0 6 (including 1 staff from subcontractor)
Namibia 0 0 7
South Africa 0 1 4
Zimbabwe**** 6 66 0

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined
***Cumulative
****Zimbabwe numbers not updated this week

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 12 August. Updates include a definition of Personal Protective Behavior, including physical separation from other people, respiratory hygiene, hand hygiene, face coverings, and avoiding large gatherings. The guidance also includes clarity on hazard pay policies for health care workers supported by PEPFAR funds. Immunizations as part of early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV, or at facilities were EID is performed, are also classified as essential services. PEPFAR recommends scheduling EID and immunizations during the same health visit or in community settings if possible.

7 August 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 7 August 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 7 August 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 17,064,064 18,854,287 10% 668,073 708,639 6%
Africa (1.2 B) 754,390 848,053 12%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 804 804 0% 2 2 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 15,713 16,349 4% 98 103 5%
Kenya (51.4 M) 19,125 23,873 25% 311 391 26%
Malawi (18.1 M) 3,858 4,426 15% 107 136 27%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)   
1,748 2,079 19% 11 15 36%
Namibia (2.5 M) 1,986 2,504 28% 9 12 33%
South Africa (57.8 M) 471,123 529,877 12% 7,497 9,298 24%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 2,879 4,339 51% 41 84 105%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 234 243 4% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 1,638,870 2,027,074 24% 35,747 41,585 16%
Europe (741.4 M) 3,307,388 3,477,225 5%    
Ukraine (42 M) 68,794 76,808 12% 1,673 1,819 9%
Americas (1 B) 9,152,173 10,135,322 11%
Haiti (11.1 M) 7,378 7,544 2% 159 171 8%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 856 928 8% 10 12 20%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 157 207 32% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 4,388,566 4,781,612 9% 150,054 157,357 5%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

In Malawi, only symptomatic cases are being tested due to inadequate laboratory test kits. All contacts are advised to quarantine for 10 days. Namibia has closed all schools except Grades 10, 11, 12 and reduced the number of persons allowed to assemble to 100 from 250. Mozambique declared another State of Emergency starting August 8 through September 6 and released stages for reopening sectors in the country. From the President of Mozambique:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a new reality on which no one has certainties. In all countries of the world, governments supported by scientists are facing doubts and testing solutions. All countries face the same winding path. They move forward one day and retreat the next day. This is not a lack of coherence or a lack of courage, it is humility, and this is respect for the truth. No one in this world can safely predict the future.”

I-TECH Updates

Malawi received a notice of award for COVID-19 supplemental funds from the Centers for Disease Control. District teams in Zimbabwe report low stocks of personal protective equipment. Zim-TTECH provided a supply of surgical masks to supported facilities that had run out.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

Country Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)** Returned to Work
Botswana 14
Malawi 1 1
Namibia 1 7 6
South Africa 1 1
Zimbabwe 6 66

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined

New USG Guidance

The PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 5 August. Guidance for reporting and Site Improvement through Monitoring System (SIMS) was detailed.

31 July 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 31 July 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 31 July 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 15,257,287 17,064,064 12% 628,240 668,073 6%
Africa (1.2 B) 642,387 754,390 17%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 622 804 29% 1 2 100%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 14,733 15,713 7% 93 98 5%
Kenya (51.4 M) 14,805 19,125 29% 260 311 20%
Malawi (18.1 M) 3,302 3,858 17% 76 107 41%
Mozambique
(29.5 M)
1,557 1,748 12% 11 11 0%
Namibia (2.5 M) 1,402 1,986 42% 7 9 29%
South Africa (57.8 M) 394,948 471,123 19% 5,940 7,497 26%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 2,034 2,879 42% 26 41 58%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 202 234 16% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 1,287,945 1,638,870 27% 30,601 35,747 17%
Europe (741.4 M) 3,147,860 3,307,388 5%    
Ukraine (42 M) 61,851 68,794 11% 1,551 1,673 8%
Americas (1 B) 8,121,700 9,152,173 13%
Haiti (11.1 M) 7,167 7,378 3% 154 159 3%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 816 856 5% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 141 157 11% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 3,938,094 4,388,566 11% 142,553 150,054 5%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

Botswana is starting another lockdown on 30 July for two weeks or until situation improves. Only essential workers will be allowed to work. All other business and schools will be closed. South Africa closed schools again from 24 July–27 August. Universities in Kenya will be closed until 2021. Mozambique has ended its state of emergency and is planning for a phased reopening.

I-TECH Updates

Malawi submitted a three-year funding proposal to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support an expanded pandemic response.

I-TECH Staff COVID-19 Cases and Contacts

 

Country

Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)** Returned to Work
Botswana 1
Malawi 1 4
Namibia 6
South Africa 1 1
Zimbabwe 4 39

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 29 July. The updates include guidance for COVID-19 testing for exposed or symptomatic PEPFAR-supported health care workers; clarification about whether to report VMMC clients and staff with confirmed COVID-19 cases to PEPFAR, by site, as notifiable adverse events; and updates to the Global Health Supply Chain Program–Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) risk report for HIV service delays.

24 July 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 24 July 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 24 July 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 13,575,158 15,257,287 12% 584,940 628,240 7%
Africa (1.2 B) 523,403 642,387 23%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 399 622 56% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 13,037 14,733 13% 87 93 7%
Kenya (51.4 M) 11,252 14,805 32% 209 260 24%
Malawi (18.1 M) 2,614 3,302 26% 43 76 77%
Mozambique

(29.5 M)

1,330 1,557 17% 9 11 22%
Namibia (2.5 M) 960 1,402 46% 2 7 250%
South Africa
(57.8 M)
311,049 394,948 27% 4,453 5,940 33%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 1,089 2,034 87% 20 26 30%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 166 202 22% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 1,003,382 1,287,945 28% 25,602^ 30,601 20%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,987,256 3,147,860 5%    
Ukraine (42 M) 56,455 61,851 10% 1,445 1,551 7%
Americas (1 B) 7,154,840 8,121,700 14%
Haiti (11.1 M) 6,902 7,167 4% 145 154 6%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 763 816 7% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 133 141 6% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 3,472,659 3,938,094 13% 136,753 142,553 4%

* Tanzanian Government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
^ Adjusted from previous week
Source COVID-19 stats: https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates         

To view COVID-19 trends over time, check out the following websites:

  • The World Health Organization shows trends over time globally, plus confirmed cases and death rates over time for individual countries.
  • The University of Washington Novel Coronavirus Infection Map describes country-specific data related to aggregated confirmed, active confirmed, deaths, and recoveries over time.

I-TECH Updates

Country Cases (Confirmed and Probable)* Contacts (Exposed)** Returned to Work
Malawi 5
Namibia 3
South Africa 1 1
Zimbabwe 3 1

*Cases: Currently isolated
**Contacts: Currently quarantined

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 22 July. Updates include definitions for continuous medical masking and universal source control, as well as guidance for what to do when a health care worker at a clinic is COVID-19 positive.

17 July 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 17 July 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 17 July 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 12,064,828 13,575,158 13% 550,384 584,940 6%
Africa (1.2 B) 410,744 523,403 27%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 314 399 27% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 11,504 13,037 13% 78 87 12%
Kenya (51.4 M) 8,528 11,252 32% 169 209 24%
Malawi (18.1 M) 1,942 2,614 35% 25 43 72%
Mozambique (29.5M) 1,071 1,330 24% 8 9 13%
Namibia (2.5 M) 593 960 62% 0 2
South Africa (57.8 M) 224,665 311,049 38% 3,602 4,453 24%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0% 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 885 1,089 23% 9 20 122%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 141 166 18% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 793,802 1,003,382 26% 21,604 34,956 62%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,847,887 2,987,256 5%    
Ukraine (42 M) 51,224 56,455 10% 1,327 1,445 9%
Americas (1 B) 6,264,626 7,154,840 14%
Haiti (11.1 M) 6,486 6,902 6% 123 145 18%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 751 763 2% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 133 133 0% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 3,038,325 3,472,659 14% 131,884 136,753 4%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

With a surge in cases across many countries, governments are starting to re-instate prevention measures that were previously being relaxed. South Africa has banned alcohol again and restricted movement during certain hours of the day unless deemed an essential worker. Provincial boundaries were also closed to those without a permit. In Zimbabwe, the lockdown was extended, and school openings are being deferred. In Kenya, curfew was extended for an additional 30 days.

I-TECH Updates

In Zimbabwe, the government conducted routine COVID-19 health worker surveillance at some facilities in Harare. As a result of the surveillance, one Zim-TTECH staff person tested COVID-19 positive, despite being asymptomatic and having no known COVID-19 exposure. The staff person is in isolation at home. At another facility, two other Zim-TTECH staff are probable cases and isolating at home. Finally, one staff person from a third facility is in quarantine due to close contact with a known COVID-19 case. All staff are being monitored regularly by phone.

In Malawi, an I-TECH staff person who attended a training tested COVID-19 positive and is isolating at home. COVID-19 safety procedures, including mandatory mask use, attestation at the door for COVID-19 symptoms, and physical distancing, were in place at the training. Other training participants are in quarantine and contact tracing is ongoing.

Country Isolating (Positive/ Probable Case) Quarantine (Exposed) Recovered
Malawi 4
South Africa 1 1
Zimbabwe 3 1

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 15 July. A link to providing online COVID-19 stakeholder feedback was provided along with information about the 58 submissions received by PEPFAR to date; guidance on performing hand hygiene with clients without running water was added; and the Global Health Supply Chain Program–Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) risk report for HIV service delays was updated.

10 July 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 10 July 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 10 July 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 10,533,779 12,064,828 15% 512,842 550,384 7%
Africa (1.2 B) 318,432 410,744 29%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 227 314 38% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 9,499 11,504 21% 68 78 15%
Kenya (51.4 M) 6,673 8,528 28% 149 169 13%
Malawi (18.1 M) 1,342 1,942 45% 16 25 56%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 903 1,071 19% 6 8 33%
Namibia (2.5 M) 285 593 108% 0 0
South Africa (57.8 M) 159,333 224,665 41% 2,749 3,602 31%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 605 885 46% 7 9 29%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 141 141 0% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 604,641 793,802 31% 17,834 21,604 21%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,747,810 2,847,887 4%    
Ukraine (42 M) 45,888 51,224 12% 1,185 1,327 12%
Americas (1 B) 5,317,792 6,264,626 18%
Haiti (11.1 M) 5,975 6,486 9% 105 123 17%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 702 751 7% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 130 133 2% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 2,616,949 3,038,325 16% 127,133 131,884 4%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

South Africa and Malawi are experiencing shortages of PCR testing reagents. As a result, in South Africa testing is prioritized to for those who are high risk and/or symptomatic. Personal protective equipment shortages are also occurring in Malawi at the National HIV reference laboratory. Community transmission has been reported in Zimbabwe. Governments continue to lift COVID-19 restrictions including opening borders and resuming air travel in some countries.

I-TECH Updates

Staff who were tested COVID-19 positive are isolating at home and remain stable.

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 8 July 2020. Basic information about COVID-19 was added, updates to HIV recency testing included, and guidance related to universal source control measures for infection prevention and control added.

2 July 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 2 July 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 2 July 2020. Due to the Friday holiday, data below reflect only six days, rather than the usual full week of data collected.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 9,454,051 10,533,779 11% 483,686 512,842 6%
Africa (1.2 B) 258,752 318,432 23%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 125 227 82% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 8,334 9,499 14% 60 68 13%
Kenya (51.4 M) 5,384 6,673 24% 132 149 13%
Malawi (18.1 M) 960 1,342 40% 12 16 33%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 788 903 15% 5 6 20%
Namibia (2.5 M) 102 285 179% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 118,375 159,333 35% 2,292 2,749 20%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 551 605 10% 6 7 17%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 130 141 8% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 490,401 604,641 23% 15,301 17,834 17%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,600,590 2,747,810 6%    
Ukraine (42 M) 40,008 45,888 15% 994 1,185 19%
Americas (1 B) 4,709,927 5,317,792 13%
Haiti (11.1 M) 5,429 5,975 10% 92 105 14%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 678 702 4% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 123 130 6% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 2,367,064 2,616,949 11% 121,645 127,133 5%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

I-TECH Updates
Protocols for Symptoms Screening of Staff and Visitors to I-TECH Offices and Management of COVID-19 Cases and Close Contacts in I-TECH Offices are forthcoming. I-TECH will review and answer questions during the next Monday meeting.

New USG Guidance this Week
PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on 1 July 2020. Supply chain for condoms guidance was updated.

26 June 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 26 June 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 26 June 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 8,366,417 9,454,051 13% 450,087 483,686 7%
Africa (1.2 B) 201,178 258,752 29%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 79 125 58% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 6,444 8,334 29% 49 60 22%
Kenya (51.4 M) 4,257 5,384 26% 117 132 13%
Malawi (18.1 M) 592 960 62% 8 12 50%
Mozambique (29.5M) 662 788 19% 4 5 25%
Namibia (2.5 M) 39 102 162% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 83,890 118,375 41% 1,737 2,292 32%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 463 551 19% 4 6 50%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 129 130 1% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 380,532 490,401 29% 12,573 15,301 22%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,471,792 2,600,590 5%    
Ukraine (42 M) 34,063 40,008 17% 966 994 3%
Americas (1 B) 4,092,526 4,709,927 15%
Haiti (11.1 M) 4,688 5,429 16% 82 92 12%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 626 678 8% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 123 123 0% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 2,149,166 2,367,064 10% 117,472 121,645 4%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

I-TECH Updates

I-TECH has had four COVID-19 cases reported in staff: one in South Africa and three cases in Malawi. All COVID-19 positive staff are in self-isolation and staff close contacts (any staff person who was within two meters for 15 minutes or more) have been screened and are in quarantine.  I-TECH will be disseminating protocols that describe actions to take when there is a COVID-19 case or probable case among staff on Monday. Please remain vigilant about maintaining safety procedures for COVID-19 in the workplace.

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on June 19. Guidance for resuming home visits by PEPFAR-supported cadres was updated; recommendations were outlined for adapting HIV services in the context of COVID-19 when they do not align with local policy; and a risk report was updated that described delays (in days) of HIV prevention services.

19 June 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 19 June 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 19 June 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 7,410,510 8,366,417 13% 418,294 450,087 8%
Africa (1.2 B) 155,762 201,178 29%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 48 79 65% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 4,404 6,444 46% 41 49 20%
Kenya (51.4 M) 3,215 4,257 32% 92 117 27%
Malawi (18.1 M) 481 592 23% 4 8 100%
Mozambique (29.5M) 489 662 35% 2 4 100%
Namibia (2.5 M) 31 39 26% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 58,568 83,890 43% 1,284 1,737 35%
Tanzania (56.3 M)* 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 332 463 39% 4 4 0%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 126 129 2% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 297,535 380,532 28% 8,498 12,573 48%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,358,953 2,471,792 5%    
Ukraine (42 M) 29,753 34,063 14% 870 966 11%
Americas (1 B) 3,560,591 4,092,526 15%
Haiti (11.1 M) 3,796 4,688 23% 58 82 41%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 598 626 5% 10 10 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 117 123 5% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 1,988,646 2,149,166 8% 112,810 117,472 4%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

Cases continue to rise in many countries. Jamaica is testing all tourist arrivals for COVID-19 and mandating face masks. In Trinidad and Tobago, government nationals can enter the country, though they are placed in a mandatory quarantine facility. In Zimbabwe, stockouts of personal protective equipment (PPE) are occurring. The Zimbabwe government has implemented a three-month salary increase and allowance for civil servants including those on pensions to account for the transitory economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Africa, some businesses and group activities have been reopened.

I-TECH

In Botswana, I-TECH resumed HIV testing services this week. In Kenya, I-TECH confirmed with CDC the COVID-19 response activities, which will start this week. I-TECH will support policy and guideline development and an implementation plan related to quarantine, self-isolation and contact tracing in Malawi. The Tanzania office is planning to reopen on July 1st.

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance  was significantly updated on June 17. Guidance for resuming/reopening services was included; pediatric considerations for children living with or HIV/TB; infection prevention and control measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure in the healthcare setting was outlined; additional information on cloth masks from updated WHO guidance was included; and additional information on PPE and use was added.

12 June 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 12 June 2020

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 12 June 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 6,515,796 7,410,510 14% 387,298 418,294 8%
Africa (1.2 B) 121,104 155,762 29%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 40 48 20% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 3,262 4,404 35% 35 41 17%
Kenya (51.4 M) 2,340 3,215 37% 78 92 18%
Malawi (18.1 M) 393 481 22% 4 4 0%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 352 489 39% 2 2 0%
Namibia (2.5 M) 25 31 24% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 40,792 58,568 44% 848 1,284 51%
Tanzania (56.3 M) 509* 509* 0%* 21* 21* 0%*
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 222 332 50% 4 4 0%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 125 126 1% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 226,770 297,535 31% 6,348 8,498 34%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,211,148 2,358,953 7%    
Ukraine (42M) 25,411 29,753 17% 748 870 16%
Americas (1 B) 3,084,517 3,560,591 15%
Haiti (11.1 M) 2,604 3,796 46% 50 58 16%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 590 598 1% 9 10 11%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 117 117 0% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 1,837,803 1,988,646 8% 106,876 112,810 6%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

As countries continue to ease COVID-19 prevention restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating, especially in lower- and middle-income countries and no longer concentrated only in urban settings. Latin America is widely acknowledged to be the new epicenter, with more than one-third of new COVID-19 cases occurring in this region in the last week,1 but Africa is also seeing a rapid increase in the number of cases.

I-TECH Updates

In Tanzania, the I-TECH COVID-19 proposal was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I-TECH will mentor the Field Epidemiology Training Program graduates to conduct surveillance including case investigation and contact tracing.  Zimbabwe’s team received and distributed surgical face masks to supported sites.

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on June 5 and June 10. Guidance for implementation of Virtual DREAMS content delivery was described, as well as updated guidance from WHO on face covering.

1. https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/869053446/latin-america-becomes-a-new-epicenter-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic

5 June 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 5 June 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 5 June 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 5,701,337 6,515,796 14% 357,688 387,298 8%
Africa (1.2 B) 92,929 121,104 30%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 35 40 14% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 2,641 3,262 24% 32 35 9%
Kenya (51.4 M) 1,618 2,340 45% 58 78 34%
Malawi (18.1 M) 203 393 94% 4 4 0%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 233 352 51% 2 2 0%
Namibia (2.5 M) 22 25 14% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 27,403 40,792 49% 577 848 47%
Tanzania (56.3 M) 509* 509* 0% 21* 21* 0%
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 132 222 68% 4 4 0%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 124 125 1% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 165,799 226,770 37% 4,706 6,348 35%
Europe (741.4 M) 2,102,574 2,211,148 5%    
Ukraine (42M) 22,811 25,411 11% 679 748 10%
Americas (1 B) 2,613,092 3,084,517 18%
Haiti (11.1 M) 1,320 2,604 97% 34 50 47%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 569 590 4% 9 9 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 116 117 1% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 1,675,258 1,837,803 10% 98,889 106,876 8%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29.
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

I-TECH Country Programs

In Jamaica, staff started returning to the office this week, observing protocols for workplace safety. In South Africa, the office was cleaned this week and Operations and Finance teams have started working in the office, with other teams returning in the coming week. The Cote d’Ivoire office has also reopened. Offices that are reopening are implementing strategies to ensure staff safety.

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated on June 3 this week. Guidance on the informal production and use of non-medical (or homemade) masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was given and personal protective equipment for PEPFAR-supported health care providers was also clarified. The guidance also includes small updates related to pediatric drug supplies and referrals for housing support for key population community members.

UW MetaCenter Newsletter

The UW MetaCenter has a new daily newsletter that provides a summary of recent scientific literature related to COVID-19. See past issues of the newsletter here and subscribe to the newsletter here. (If you do not wish to receive general information from the Department of Global Health, or information about events and opportunities, you will need to un-check those boxes.)

29 May 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 29 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 29 May 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 4,993,470 5,701,337 14% 327,738 357,688 9%
Africa (1.2 B) 71,752 92,929 30%    
Botswana (2.3 M) 29 35 21% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 2,301 2,641 15% 29 32 10%
Kenya (51.4 M) 1,109 1,618 46% 50 58 16%
Malawi (18.1 M) 72 203 182% 3 4 33%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 162 233 44% 0 2
Namibia (2.5 M) 18 22 22% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 19,137 27,403 43% 369 577 56%
Tanzania (56.3 M) 509 509* 0% 21 21* 0%
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 51 132 159% 4 4 0%
Asia (4.5 B)        
Cambodia (16.3 M) 123 124 1% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 118,447 165,799 40% 3,583 4,706 31%
Europe (741.4 M) 1,966,244 2,102,574 7%    
Ukraine (42 M) 20,148 22,811 13% 588 679 15%
Americas (1 B) 2,220,267 2,613,092 18%
Haiti (11.1 M) 663 1,320 99% 22 34 55%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 529 569 8% 9 9 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 116 116 0% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 1,525,186 1,675,258 10% 91,527 98,889 8%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29.
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

I-TECH Country Programs

As country offices start to reopen, each are expected to use strategies that increase staff safety and follow local labor laws. I-TECH Seattle has put together guidance for re-opening offices to further support staff safety and complement country-specific mandates (South Africa, for example). Guidance provides specific strategies, policies and procedures based on existing evidence to ensure staff safety.

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated twice this week. On May 22, PEPFAR provided guidance on resuming activities after lockdown restrictions ease, highlighted the importance of separating medication delivery from clinical care, and updated information on supply chain for antiretroviral therapy. On May 27, PEPFAR updated ANC attendance tracking and provided guidance on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) by implementing partners for HIV clinical services. Guidance states:

“Essential PPE may be procured by implementing partners for HIV clinical services under the following conditions: 1) For the protection of, and use by, implementing partner staff; and 2) Locally or regionally provided that such items are not, and could not reasonably be expected to be, meant for the United States market, including but not limited to instances where such procurements are needed to ensure continuity of safe and effective implementation of foreign assistance programs.

“Note: HIV testing (or other direct HCW-patient interaction for HIV services) should not take place where routine adequate PPE is not available, (e.g., gloves or mask for phlebotomy). Further guidance will be forthcoming.”

22 May 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 22 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 22 May 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 4,307,287 4,993,470 16% 295,101 327,738 11%
Africa (1.2 B) 54,190 71,752 32%  
Botswana (2.3 M) 24 29 21% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 1,971 2,301 17% 24 29 21%
Kenya (51.4 M) 758 1,109 46% 42 50 19%
Malawi (18.1 M) 63 72 14% 3 3 0%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 115 162 41% 0 0 0%
Namibia (2.5 M) 16 18 13% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 12,739 19,137 50% 238 369 55%
Tanzania (56.3 M) 509* 509 0% 21* 21* 0%
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 37 51 38% 4 4 0%
Asia (4.5 B)      
Cambodia (16.3 M) 122 123 1% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 78,003 118,447 52% 2,549 3,583 41%
Europe (741.4 M) 1,801,668 1,966,244 9%  
Ukraine (42 M) 16,847 20,148 20% 456 588 29%
Americas (1 B) 1,864,468 2,220,267 19%
Haiti (11.1 M) 234 663 183% 18 22 22%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 509 529 4% 9 9 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 116 116 0% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 1,361,522 1,525,186 12% 82,119 91,527 11%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29.
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

Many governments have started lifting COVID-19 related restrictions using a phased approach. In Cote d’Ivoire, government offices will reopen May 26. In Jamaica, the work from home mandate will be lifted starting June 1 except for persons 65 years and older or any person with an underlying condition. In Trinidad and Tobago, manufacturing and construction sectors reopened this week. Ukraine started an “adaptive quarantine” allowing for certain sectors to open, including public transit, hotels, sports competitions without spectators, and parishes. For the next four weeks, Ukraine will continue to further lift restrictions. In Tanzania, the government lifted all restrictions and encouraged people to go to work.

I-TECH Country Programs

In Kenya, I-TECH presented during a webinar to the CDC and WHO Global Infection Prevention and Control network on Kenya IPC activities and COVID-19 facility readiness assessment using an electronic tool. There were more than 1,000 participants from multiple countries. In Cote d’Ivoire, staff started working at the office again this week. I-TECH headquarters will be sending out guidance and resources related to re-opening offices in the coming weeks.

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated to provide guidance related to the ongoing shortage of LPV/r tablets and pellets.

PPE Survey

The topic of personal protective equipment (PPE) came up at a recent Town Hall hosted by the Office of Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) for civil society organizations. OGAC confirmed that PPE may not be procured with PEPFAR funds until White House guidance is released. Currently, this is being enforced by HRSA but not CDC.

OGAC also indicated that they had not heard that any programs are out of PPE. If your program is out of PPE or if you have general comments for OGAC, complete this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V7RJW59

22 May 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 15 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 15 May 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Area (Population) Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global (7.6 B) 3,759,967 4,307,287 15% 259,474 295,101 14%
Africa (1.2 B) 37,717 54,190 44%  
Botswana (2.3 M) 23 24 4% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire (25.1 M) 1,571 1,971 25% 20 24 20%
Kenya (51.4 M) 607 758 25% 29 42 45%
Malawi (18.1 M) 43 63 47% 3 3 0%
Mozambique (29.5 M) 81 115 42% 0 0 0%
Namibia (2.5 M) 16 16 0% 0 0 0%
South Africa (57.8 M) 8,232 12,739 55% 161 238 48%
Tanzania (56.3 M) 509 509* 0% 21 21* 0%
Zimbabwe (14.4 M) 34 37 9% 4 4 0%
Asia (4.5 B)    
Cambodia (16.3 M) 122 122 0% 0 0 0%
India (1.4 B) 56,342 78,003 38% 1,886 2,549 35%
Europe (741.4 M) 1,654,345 1,801,668 9%  
Ukraine (42 M) 14,195 16,847 19% 361 456 26%
Americas (1 B) 1,586,129 1,864,468 18%
Haiti (11.1 M) 108 234 117% 12 18 50%
Jamaica (2.9 M) 478 509 6% 9 9 0%
Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 M) 116 116 0% 8 8 0%
USA (382.2 M) 1,215,571 1,361,522 12% 67,146 82,119 22%

* The Tanzanian government has not released COVID-19 data since 4/29.
Source COVID-19 stats: 
https://covid19.who.int/
Source population: World Bank

International Updates

The UNAIDS and the World Health Organization issued a joint news release on May 11 that describes potential consequences of COVID-19 disruption to HIV care. A modeling exercise measured the impact of a six-month disruption of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Over 500,000 extra AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, with a two-fold increase in mother-to-child transmission, were attributed to ART disruption, and impact was still observed after five years. Even shorter disruptions, for example three months, would significantly impact HIV deaths. The priority for all HIV programs should be to sustain and expand all vital health services and ensure continuous access to prevention, testing, and treatment services, especially ART.

I-TECH Country Programs

India hosted the first two webinars on COVID-19 for a network of medical colleges. The first session, “Disease Dynamics and the Science Behind the Lockdown,” was virtually attended by 796 people. The second, “Mental Health During the Lockdown,” was virtually attended by 550 people.

In Jamaica, a redirection of funds for food vouchers, transport stipends, and non-personal protective equipment supplies for HIV patients and HIV clinics due to COVID-19 hardship was approved. Malawi received a notice of award (NOA) for $250,000 from the CDC International Task Force to support the secondment of a new technical advisor to the Public Health Institute of Malawi for central coordination of COVID-19 response and to support the Emergency Operations Center. Zimbabwe received an NOA for $579,500 to support vaccine preparedness and disease prevention efforts.

In Nambia, Windhoek-based staff have started working at the office again. Guidance was given to staff for use of reusable masks and, for staff sharing offices, alternating times and days were scheduled to reduce number of staff in the office at any given time.

New USG Guidance

On 8 May, there was updated PEPFAR guidance issued, including information about the role of PEPFAR Coordination Offices in the larger USG COVID-19 response.

8 May 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 8 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 8 May 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global 3,175,207 3,759,967 18% 224,172 259,474 16%
Africa 26,663 37,717 41%  
Botswana 23 23 0% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire 1,275 1,571 23% 14 20 43%
Kenya 396 607 53% 17 29 71%
Malawi 37 43 16% 3 3 0%
Mozambique 76 81 7% 0 0 0%
Namibia 16 16 0% 0 0 0%
South Africa 5,647 8,232 46% 103 161 56%
Tanzania 480 509 6% 17 21 24%
Zimbabwe 32 34 6% 4 4 0%
SE Asia 57,088 86,294 51%  
Cambodia 122 122 0% 0 0 0%
India 35,043 56,342 61% 1,147 1,886 64%
Western Pacific 148,838 157,447 6%
Jamaica 396 478 21% 7 9 29%
Haiti 76 108 42% 7 12 71%
Trinidad and Tobago 116 116 0% 8 8 0%
Europe 1,461,404 1,654,345 13%  
Ukraine 10,861 14,195 31% 272 361 33%
Americas 1,291,917 1,586,129 23%
USA 1,035,353 1,215,571 17% 55,337 67,146 21%

Source:  https://covid19.who.int/

International Updates

In India, I-TECH will conduct COVID-19 related distance learning sessions for a network of medical colleges. Between 600 and 1,000 participants are expected to join per session. I-TECH Kenya will be conducting infection prevention and control trainings in two counties and will be testing the CDC facility readiness assessment tool. In Malawi, I-TECH is hiring an additional technical advisor to support the Public Health Institute. Two I-TECH staff in Mozambique contributed to the development of the Ministry of Health Pocket Guide to COVID-19 Prevention.I-TECH Country Programs

New USG Guidance

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated twice this week. On 1 May 2020, guidance was released with information about how to prepare for clinic closures; impact, and mitigation measures for PLHIV and orphans and vulnerable children food insecurity and nutritional status; and reporting and SIMS updates. On 6 May 2020, guidance was updated related to self-testing; and laboratory services including supply chain management, testing for viral load, early infant diagnosis, TB, and SARS-CoV-2 testing.

Tip of the Week

As countries move to reopen businesses, consider what steps need to be put into place to open I-TECH offices. The CDC has issued reopening guidance for cleaning and disinfecting businesses and other workplaces, including a cleaning and disinfectant decision tool. While the guidance is U.S.-focused, suggested strategies are relevant to international settings as well. For ongoing cleaning and disinfection suggestions once an office has been reopened, review the World Health Organization’s considerations for getting your workplace ready for COVID-19, which are applicable while there is still risk of COVID-19 exposure.

1 May 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 1 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 1 May 2020.)

Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Countries with I-TECH Programs

CONFIRMED DECEASED
Last Week This Week % Change Last Week This Week % Change
Global 2,626,321 3,175,207 21% 181,938 224172 23%
Africa 18,234 26,663 46%
Botswana 22 23 5% 1 1 0%
Cote d’Ivoire 1,004 1,275 27% 14 14 0%
Kenya 320 96 -70% 14 17 21%
Malawi 33 37 12% 3 3 0%
Mozambique 41 76 85% 0 0
Namibia 16 16 0% 0 0
South Africa 3,953 5,647 43% 75 103 37%
Tanzania 285 480 68% 10 17 70%
Zimbabwe 28 32 14% 4 4 0%
SE Asia 57,088
Cambodia 122 122 0% 0 0
India 23,077 35,043 52% 718 1,147 60%
Western Pacific 139,782 148,838 6%
Jamaica 243 396 63% 6 7 17%
Haiti 62 76 23% 4 7 75%
Trinidad and Tobago 115 116 1% 8 8 0%
Europe 1,284,216 1,461,404 14%
Ukraine 7,647 10,861 42% 193 272 41%
Americas 1,291,917
USA 1,035,353 55,337

Source:  https://covid19.who.int/

National Updates

While most countries are in extended lockdowns, governments are making comprehensive plans for lifting quarantine measures in stages or steps. In Ukraine, the government has outlined a five-stage plan based on criteria. Ukraine’s stages are based on risk levels and indicators related to disease transmission, number of new cases, recovery and hospitalizations. In Namibia, the government has released guidance for lifting restrictions in four stages, ending June 30. Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Kenya are all in planning processes, as well.

I-TECH Country Programs 

In Zimbabwe, Zim-TTECH was notified by CDC that they would receive $579,500 to support COVID-19 activities. Zim-TTECH will support vaccine preparedness and disease prevention for rapid scale up and implementation of a SARS-COV2 vaccine when available; and infection control and prevention efforts for triaging at 250 sites across five provinces. Zim-TTECH will work closely with the Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure any identified gaps have targeted support to minimize COVID-19 spread in health facilities. In Tanzania, CDC redirected both carry-forward and Q3 activities ($83,000) to support training for case investigation and contact tracing teams, targeting Field Epidemiology and Training Program graduates and community health care workers.

24 April 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 24 April 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 24 April 2020.)

Epidemiological Update

Region/ Country Confirmed New Cases Deceased
Global 2,626,321 73,911 181,938
Africa 18,234    
Botswana 22 2 1
Cote d’Ivoire 1,004 52 14
Kenya 320 17 14
Malawi 33 10 3
Mozambique 41 2 0
Namibia 16 0 0
South Africa 3,953 318 75
Tanzania 285 30 10
Zimbabwe 28 0 4
Asia      
Cambodia 122 0 0
India 23,077 1,684 718
Western Pacific 139,782
Jamaica 243 10 6
Haiti 62 4 4
Trinidad and Tobago 115 1 8
Europe 1,284,216    
Ukraine 7,647 477 193

Source:  https://covid19.who.int/

I-TECH Country Programs 

Malawi will be awarded $250,000 to support COVID-19 related activities and Kenya will be awarded $250,000 to support strategic priority infection prevention and control activities for containment and prevention of COVID-19 cases at health care facilities.

This week the Zimbabwe team launched a tracker to monitor facility status, services, commodities, and personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data collected using the Excel trackers helps Zim-TTECH monitor trends, plan programmatic need and respond to shortages at facilities.

Funder Requests

The CDC requested the Zimbabwe and Jamaica program offices complete a survey to quantify PEPFAR support for COVID-19 response.

New USG Guidance this Week

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated this week to include suggestions for tracing individuals who have been lost to follow-up, pediatric antiretroviral therapy, and information for faith and community-based organizations.

Monday Guest: Kate Starbird

Kate Starbird, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at UW, will be joining us for our Monday morning COVID-19 update call. Starbird will facilitate a Q&A session on “Misinformation and Disinformation in Times of Crisis.” Learn more about her and her work here and here.

Tip of the Week

Be kind to yourself and others.
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” – Nelson Mandela

17 April 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 17 April 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 17 April 2020.)

National Responses

In some countries, lockdowns and states of emergency have been extended this week. Country governments are trying to expand testing and proactively minimize transmission. Zimbabwe released a strategy to increase active screening for COVID-19. Jamaica has started mobile testing into certain regions and Kenya’s testing capacity has increased substantially. In South Africa, community transmission has been reported. The National Department of Health has deployed 10,000 community health workers (CHWs) to conduct household-based testing and screening and plans to add an additional 18,000 CHWs soon. Botswana will also start community testing this week.

The United States has now reported the largest number of COVID-19 deaths. Over 34,000 persons have died to date and 675,640 persons have tested positive. Most of the country is in a lockdown (shelter in place) and hotspots, especially New York City, account substantially for the total COVID-19 deaths to date. Access to COVID-19 testing and insufficient PPE are national challenges exacerbated by a fragmented health system where universal access to health care does not exist. Washington State, where the first COVID-19 hotspot was detected in the Seattle area, instituted shelter in place measures on March 23. These early and aggressive public health measures have been essential to interrupting transmission and ensuring that hospitals are not overwhelmed. Seattle’s health department released key tools that describe what will need to be in place before transitioning away from our current public health measures. In addition, states are working together to develop plans for lifting these measures in an iterative way to minimize rebound infections.

I-TECH Response

Infection prevention and control (IPC) capacity building and support has been identified as a need across our network. In Kenya, the Ministry of Health and WHO have requested technical assistance with building IPC capacity. I-TECH will receive $250,000 to assist with this scope, which builds on I-TECH Kenya’s robust IPC program. In India, CDC has started discussion about delivering an IPC course using a distance learning platform. In Malawi, a proposal was submitted to CDC for $250,000 from the CDC International Task Force funds. The funds would cover secondment of a new TA position to the Public Health Institute of Malawi for support of central coordination of the national COVID-19 response, and support to the national Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Programmatic changes and advocacy in country programs are not possible without the strong and resilient leadership of our country teams. Your leadership is evident now more than ever, as country office leadership negotiates redirection of funds, navigates donor relations due to programmatic disruptions, and leverages I-TECH’s technical teams to effectively support national COVID-19 response all while still maintaining other programming! Thank you to our country team leadership, in-country and at HQ, for effectively supporting our teams remotely and navigating new challenges in our country programming!

USG Guidance to Date

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated twice since last week. The first update (10 April) includes guidance on non-medical (or homemade) masks, HIV recency testing, age considerations for voluntary medical male circumcision, and orphans and vulnerable children enrollment. The second update includes information about supply chain management, including expected delays of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and non-ART drugs.

10 April 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 10 April 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 10 April 2020.)

National Responses

Across our network, India and South Africa have the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (6,412 and 1,934 respectively) outside of the United States.1 Most I-TECH countries have implemented a lockdown for varying degrees of time; some governments have imposed more stringent restrictions. For example, in Ukraine, children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult to leave home; only two persons are allowed out of home at a time; and anyone over the age of 60 years must stay home. In several countries, identification is required if you leave your home or a note from your employer that deems you “essential staff.”  Kenya, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, and Trinidad and Tobago have mandated face mask use in public spaces. Some new government mandates being released are contributing to social unrest. In Kenya, the government has given families 24 hours to bury any person that has died from COVID-19 related complications.

Misinformation continues to be a problem in many countries. In Haiti, some people do not believe COVID-19 is real and recently protested the arrest of a journalist writing “false” stories to support that belief. In Cote d’Ivoire, one of the COVID-19 testing sites under development was destroyed by the community due to misconception that it was a treatment site, bringing disease to their neighborhood.

While each country is trying to maintain HIV services, some prevention activities have been postponed. In Zimbabwe, voluntary male medical circumcision is suspended; in Malawi, recency testing is suspended and homebased HTS stopped. In Botswana, HIV testing services have been paused.

Namibia released standard operating procedures for management of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Kenya has updated pediatric guidelines, infection prevention and control for COVID-19 in homes and residential communities and released a position statement on use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19. Personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages have been reported in Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, and test kit shortages have been reported in Cote d’Ivoire.

I-TECH Response 

CDC has requested a COVID-19 specific proposal in Kenya for infection prevention and control support, and in Malawi a concept note for activities to strengthen surveillance, laboratory capacity, and national coordination of the Public Health Reference Laboratory. In Mozambique, staff are discussing two proposals with HRSA for COVID-19 related activities. In Botswana and Tanzania, I-TECH is waiting for approval from CDC to re-direct some programmatic funds to support COVID-19 activities. Namibia is waiting for concurrence from CDC regarding a PPE supply order submitted. A request for reprogramming has been approved by CDC in Zimbabwe.

Across the I-TECH network our staff continue to provide care for HIV clients in health facilities, and some have been seconded to ministries to provide high-level critical support to government responses. We recognize the challenges and hardships that our colleagues experience both professionally and personally. As a society and more specifically, as an organization, we are indebted to you. Thank you for your hard work and dedication supporting our communities through this trying and unprecedented time.

USG Guidance to Date

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated twice this week. The update includes guidance for HIV testing and prevention including Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), multi-month dispensing, gender-based violence and children protection guidance including DREAMS, maternal an and child health service delivery, and women’s health.

Reminder

It is important to be able to minimize our food shopping trips. If any of our staff do not have resources to stock their homes with enough food and other necessities to last one week at time, please contact Shelly Tonge-Seymour (beano@uw.edu).

Tip of the Week

If you have any questions about effectively working from home, see UWHR’s Tips for Teleworking and this resource from Harvard Business Review’s Ascend. For ideas on how to work best within remote teams, see this webinar from UW’s Professional and Organizational Development (POD) team.

3 April 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 3 April 2020

Weekly Roundup

(Note: These updates are as of 12 p.m. PT, 3 April 2020.)

National Responses

COVID-19 cases are now present in all I-TECH countries. Malawi and Botswana both reported their first COVID-19 cases this week, though testing availability has been a challenge. Across the network, access to testing varies and remains very low in some places. For example, only 309 people have been tested in Zimbabwe to date. Efforts to increase access to testing are under way. South Africa has started door-to-door COVID-19 testing and all HIV testing sites have added COVID-19 testing. The Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency has made efforts to increase testing in Trinidad and Tobago, though test kit availability and access to certified testing staff remains problematic. Malawi received 20,000 test kits this week.

Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) is an ongoing challenge. Ministries of Health (MOH) are making efforts to procure PPE, though access is limited in some countries. Some countries are experiencing price gouging and inequitable distribution of supplies. In India, ART staff are getting PPE supplies from the government, but differentiated service delivery (DSD) sites are not. In Botswana, I-TECH is working with local tailors to custom make PPE. In Kenya, custom made PPE is not allowed in clinical situations, but the government is manufacturing PPE and masks locally for health care workers. Review the World Health Organization’s most recent updates to PPE guidelines. All I-TECH offices should continue efforts to procure PPE for staff, using sole source procurement if necessary, in order to expedite the process.

All I-TECH country governments have implemented a curfew and/or a country-wide lockdown. Political unrest and violence have been reported in South Africa, Kenya, and India. Migration continues to occur where borders allow, with citizens attempting to return home. In Mozambique, 24,000 migrant workers returned from South Africa this week before the border closed. Efforts are being made to screen and quarantine returning citizens in places where borders are still porous.

Access to HIV services remains a priority. In India, ART dispensaries are opening near patients for convenience and access. Zimbabwe and Namibia have implemented more multi-month dispensing (MMD); stock determines the length of MMD. For example, in Namibia the goal was for six-month ART, but due to current supply, only four months can be accommodated.

I-TECH Response             

Some MOHs have made specific requests of I-TECH teams. For example, in Malawi, MOH Public Health Reference Lab has requested I-TECH support in the development of standard operating procedures for COVID-19 testing. In Kenya, the I-TECH team is integrating droplet precaution and COVID-19 specific questions to the Infection Control Assessment Tool for facilities. Clinical staff in Namibia continue to provide HIV care. In Jamaica, the MOH invited I-TECH to join the COVID-19 & HIV response team. Clinic-based staff are also using electronic communication methods such as WhatsApp and a warm line to provide mentoring, clinical consultation, and support to hospitals.

Operations and finance teams have been instrumental across the I-TECH network to set up necessary operating procedures for staff to work remotely. This includes navigating internet support and airtime for staff, ensuring access to Quickbooks to allow for remote payment processing, and troubleshooting procurement of PPE to ensure staff are protected. Without the continued critical efforts of I-TECH’s operations and finance teams, staff would not be able to effectively work from home. Some creative approaches have emerged to mitigating work-from-home challenges: 1) Cote d’Ivoire is using Adobe Pro to e-sign necessary documents to ensure programmatic activity continues; 2) In Zimbabwe, a staff person parks a project vehicle at home so that the driver can transport staff working in the office, minimizing risk of exposure from public transport; and 3) South Africa is orienting new hires remotely.

USG Guidance to Date

PEPFAR technical guidance was updated this week. The update includes pediatric multi-month dispensing guidance, TB/HIV and COVID-19 clinical care and treatment guidance, and human resources for health recommendations for maintaining essential HIV services, including training.

27 March 2020

I-TECH COVID-19 Weekly Digest, 27 March 2020

Weekly Round-Up

(Note: These updates are as of 11 a.m. PT, 27 March 2020.)

National Responses

COVID-19 has been detected in all I-TECH countries except Botswana and Malawi. COVID-19-associated deaths have been reported in India, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Jamaica and Ukraine.[1]  All governments have implemented some combination of measures to contain the disease including reducing the size of or eliminating gatherings, closing borders, establishing travel restrictions, encouraging hygiene practices, implementing social distancing measures and/or curfews, and closure of schools and non-essential businesses. India, South Africa, Ukraine, parts of Namibia, and Zimbabwe have implemented a national lockdown for a minimum of 21 days, with additional countries anticipating similar measures in the next week.

Governments, with USG support, have postponed what they deem as non-essential or elective procedures and have shifted to remote meetings and deploying distance-learning trainings to eliminate face-to-face contact. ART services are deemed essential and will remain open. Emphasis has been given towards ensuring that adequate supplies and medications are available for HIV programs and aggressive contact tracing of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Challenges have been reported across our network. Zimbabwe’s situation is particularly acute: nurses and doctors are on strike due to concerns related to lack of personal protective equipment; inflation rates are at 400%; food insecurity, and limited access to life-saving supportive care are compromising the health system. India is experiencing political unrest and food insecurity attributed to the national lock down. Cote d’Ivoire’s supply chain has been disrupted due to travel restrictions – no one can leave or enter Abidjan, the capital. Additional countries have reported fear that political unrest will likely occur in the coming weeks as well.

I-TECH’s Response

I-TECH has implemented policies to safeguard staff and their families from exposure to COVID-19.  All offices established policies (Namibia example) to ensure staff can work from home. Some offices have implemented modified office hours to accommodate operational and fiscal responsibilities such as ensuring essential approvals and processing payments. For example, in Malawi, the office is open from 10 am–2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is staffed by a rotating person from the senior management team to ensure payments are processed. All field-based activities have been postponed, with guidance from project officers.

I-TECH has contributed to national responses in a variety of ways. Tanzania and Malawi have seconded staff to support the national COVID-19 response. In Malawi, an I-TECH seconded staff is now the COVID-19 response coordinator for MOH Public Health Institute of Malawi. I-TECH Malawi has also deployed an additional technical advisor to support the National HIV reference laboratory to support COVID-19 testing readiness and confirmatory DNA PCR testing quality assurance. In Tanzania, I-TECH seconded a technical advisor to support the national surveillance response. In Mozambique, MOH converted an existing health center to a COVID-19 service delivery facility. I-TECH is providing follow up for the 10,000 ART patients transferred from the converted health facility. In Zimbabwe, I-TECH is working with CDC to deploy staff, tents and vehicles to support ART services and the COVID response, They are also developing an online COVID-19 sensitization training. For I-TECH staff working in health facilities, I-TECH has or is working to procure PPE as recommended by the World Health Organization for staff and is trying to ensure that adequate HIV commodities, supplies and laboratory reagents are dispatched to facilities. In Namibia and India, ECHO sessions have been held by MOHSS to discuss COVID-19 response and in Tanzania, healthcare worker sensitization has been held in partnership with MOH.

USG Guidance to Date  

All changes to I-TECH programming must be pre-approved with CDC or HRSA project officers and activity managers in advance. Any disruptions to programming as a result of COVID-19 should be documented and shared with project officers.

Procurement of PPE for I-TECH staff is allowable without prior approval. Procured PPE must be reasonable and based on number of staff needing it, frequency of use, and projected amount of time (such as a 6 week supply). OGAC announced on 23 March 2020 that PEPFAR resources could not be used to purchase PPE, ventilators or COVID-19 test kits for MOH counterparts for the larger country response.

The Quarter 2 reporting deadline has been extended to June 5 in two countries, with detailed guidance forthcoming. Follow up with your project officer to determine if deadlines have changed for your program. 

1. Source: https://hgis.uw.edu/virus/

Free and Low-Cost Classes for Professional Development

Because many working from home may be looking for ways to remain engaged, we have compiled a list of online learning resources:

TheLadders.com – Guide to 7 elite universities offering free classes.

USAID Learning Lab – USAID’s platform for generating and sharing information, tools, and resources on how development practitioners can work together to integrate learning throughout the USAID Program Cycle.

Coursera – Online courses (with or without a certificate) taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and education institutions. Varying in length and cost, they tend to last 4-6 weeks and are priced at about $29-$99 USD.  Free course options are available.

edX – Similar to Coursera, edX provides free to low-cost online learning from more than 130 global partners including world’s leading universities, nonprofits and institutions.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn Learning offers over 10,000 online training programs. A free one-month trial is available, then memberships are $20/month.