Doctors of the World and COVID-19 - Doctors of the World


Doctors of the World has expanded and stepped up its work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The poorest and most vulnerable in society are at the greatest risk of Covid-19 infection.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by Sars-Cov2, and it has spread quickly across the world, resulting in the ongoing 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.  There is no known pre-existing immunity, and no treatment or vaccine is available, and there is much that we still do not understand about this virus. The number of infections and deaths have expanded exponentially, and in some places eludes our ability to control it.  The United States now has the most number of infections and is considered an epicenter of the pandemic.

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For now, the best way to avoid infection is to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations on maintaining social distance and proper hand hygiene.  The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has produced posters of these recommendations in 18 different languages. Recommendations in English and Spanish are available below. Recommendations in other languages can be found here.










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Following these recommendations will help manage the strain on public health systems by reducing the number of infections.  To stay up to date on the progress of the pandemic we recommend following the resources of the World Health Organization.

Of particular concern to Doctors of the World are the vulnerable people who are at greatest risk of Covid-19 infection.  That risk is especially acute for the homeless and impoverished, for the incarcerated, and for migrants and asylum seekers.  Refugee camps and homeless shelters are overcrowded, and lack access to water and proper sanitation. People living in conflict settings like the DRC, Yemen or Syria are also living in crowded conditions with almost no access to healthcare, and we are particularly concerned about the ability of severely fragile health systems to handle a rapidly increasing case load of Covid-19 patients.  An outbreak of Covid-19 in these settings will be nearly impossible to contain.

Our organization is responding in multiple ways in Europe and throughout the world.  You can read about some of these efforts below.

International Response

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