The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 350,876 people and infected more than 5.6 million people globally, with numbers still rising. In the United States alone, there are nearly 1.7 million cases cases as of May 27, and more than 98,929 people have died.
Humanity & Inclusion is taking special measures to protect its teams, maintain operational capabilities, and continue assisting the most vulnerable. We're making changes to the ways we work and assist at-risk populations. This includes providing local people with accessible, stay healthy messages, and offering access to physical therapists via WhatsApp. Read our latest update on our COVID-19 response.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus, coronavirus. This new coronavirus first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, and is called COVID-19. COVID-19 is a contagious virus that causes mild to critical respiratory symptoms with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It can be transmitted through person-to-person contact, though much remains unknown about how it spreads.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome. At greater risk are people with chronic health conditions and older individuals.
How can I prevent getting COVID-19?
The World Health Organization has the following recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure:
- Frequently wash your hands by using soap and water (for at least 20 seconds), or else use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Note that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention suggests 6 feet.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
How is Humanity & Inclusion responding to COVID-19?
Our top priority is the health of our staff and beneficiaries. We’re doing everything we can to provide our teams with information on the protection and health measures to take to protect themselves and the community from the virus. Worldwide, our teams continue their existing work when that's possible, mainly through teleworking. Our goal is to remain operational in aid of beneficiaries in the 55 countries where we have field teams.
How dangerous is COVID-19 for people with disabilities?
The pandemic is growing in most of our program countries. The people we assist every day--people with disabilities, people with injuries, refugees and displaced people—have the right to the same protections and precautions. The most vulnerable of the vulnerable, our beneficiaries already experience poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. At this stage, the dire situation facing Western countries may prove disastrous for people living in some countries where we work, and more specifically for the very individuals we assist, some of whom live with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, or the effects of being older. The goal is to provide them with more support than ever.
Assisting the most vulnerable
Our teams are drawing up activity continuity plans to maintain our essential work in changing circumstances. The organization is putting arrangements in place to adapt its action to developments in the pandemic and provide an operational response, while assisting in the general effort to combat the coronavirus.
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We will do everything we can to protect as many people as possible and help break the spread of COVID-19. We are so grateful to our supporters for standing alongside us as we take on this challenge. But we will need your continued support.