Increasing coordination on measures for safe school reopening was the main topic tackled during an e-meeting held in the framework of the CEI-WHO Joint Task Force (TF), on 9 September 2020.

WHO’s Programme Manager Martin Willi Weber amply presented the suggested mitigation measures mechanism envisaged to reduce the overall risk of COVID-19 transmission within three interlinked categories, i.e. personal controls (individual behaviour); administrative controls (processes & policies) and environmental & engineering controls (physical structures for social distancing).

The TF - officially launched on 15 May 2020, on the occasion of the Extraordinary Virtual Meeting of CEI Heads of Government under the Montenegrin Presidency - resumed its discussions after the summer break reiterating its main mission in response to the COVID-19 emergency which encourages a coherent response and anticipation to any adverse consequences that might stem from the pandemic.

At the time of its inception, CEI Secretary General, Roberto Antonione, extended an invitation to Member States to share their needs and priorities through regular meetings of the Task Force and to turn the current crisis into a renewed opportunity for the benefit of many; and Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, underscored the importance of keeping health at the centre of socioeconomic recovery, by identifying and evaluating potential risks during the transition phase, easing restrictions safely, and preventing the virus from resurging.

To this end, the May-July TF activities, successfully managed to map the development of the epidemic in the CEI-wide area, and the team has been functioning as a platform for timely and targeted information-sharing. The health experts focused on technical areas pertaining to public health, inclusive of digital health, socio-economic recovery and the vulnerable population, with the goal of leaving no one behind.

Following the latest thematic discussions, the Joint Task Force is now ready to move on and unfold the work plan until December 2020.

For more info: apuzzo@cei.int