The CEI- Executive Secretariat (CEI-ES) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe have joined efforts by setting up a functioning Task Force composed of key health officials from CEI Member States to respond to the COVID-19. The first meeting held on 6 May in remote mode, has paved the way towards a strategic plan aimed at stepping up regional coordination to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.  

To equip CEI countries with robust mechanisms able to reverse the effects of the current situation, the CEI-ES and the WHO have decided to work together in synergy, where the former is acting as a Policy Coordinator of the Board and the latter providing scientific advice to the discussions. Building on the WHO’s state of knowledge on the epidemic curve, response readiness, as well as available instruments, and on the CEI Member States’ situation on the state of the epidemic, thematic Working Groups will be set up as needed to outline the functions and priorities of the Task Force. 

The discussions of both the CEI Member States and the WHO emphasised the importance of taking into account the transition phase and the recovery to normality with clear guidelines for all. To this end, cooperation and sharing of best practices in the region will be crucial. Therefore, besides tackling the epidemic and the aftermath in the healthcare system, participants agreed that recovery as a whole should be a joint primary concern on top of the agenda starting from the next Task Force meeting on 20 May. 

For more info: apuzzo@cei.int