Read: All MSF updates on COVID-19

COVID-19: Fighting the pandemic

Our expert teams are aiding the fight against the new coronavirus on four continents. This is MSF’s response in pictures.

As an emergency medical organisation, we’ve been fighting disease outbreaks for nearly 50 years.

Our battle against COVID-19 began like many of our epidemic responses: by sending medical supplies to the epicentre of the outbreak.

More than three tonnes of protective equipment was sent to Wuhan, China, in January this year.

But as the outbreak rapidly evolved, so too have our efforts to support the global response.  

Right now, our expert teams are providing urgently needed medical care and support in more than 40 countries.

They are also preparing for potential outbreaks in the hundreds of areas we were already working in before the pandemic struck.

We are deploying medics, sending supplies and applying decades of experience fighting epidemics to protect the most vulnerable and save lives.

With more than a million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, we look at MSF’s response in pictures.

11 February 2020: An MSF health promoter teaches street cleaners in Hong Kong good sneezing etiquette so that they can protect themselves from the new coronavirus disease. Since then, we have conducted more health promotions sessions, both face-to-face and online, with vulnerable groups in the city. The team has also held workshops on coping with stress and anxiety to address mental health needs. © Shuk Lim Cheung/MSF
29 February 2020: MSF donated 3.5 tonnes of personal protective equipment to health workers at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in Hubei province, China. It is one of the designated hospitals providing treatment to COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, especially those in a serious or critical condition. © MSF
17 March 2020: MSF Italy president Dr. Claudia Lodesani is part of the MSF team working in Codogno hospital. We are currently supporting three hospitals in the Lombardia region, the first epicentre of the outbreak in Italy, with infection control and a few doctors present. © Davide Arcuri/MSF
24 March 2020: MSF starts COVID-19 activities in France, focusing on vulnerable people, such as migrants. On 24 March, 700 people were evacuated from a camp in Aubervilliers near Paris and sent to emergency shelters in Paris and Île-de-France. MSF teams have been deployed to the shelters to evaluate their health and identify potential COVID-19 cases. © Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF
25 March 2020: An MSF staff member at the Severo Ochoa hospital support unit in Leganés, Madrid. We have set up two support units with more than 200 beds to help decongest hospitals and increase intensive care capacity in the Spanish capital. © Olmo Calvo/MSF
28 March 2020: As part of our COVID-19 response in Switzerland, we are distributing hygiene products and food vouchers to 2,700 vulnerable people in Geneva. MSF logisticians ensure that the distribution circuit set up by volunteers and the city's services is arranged in such a way as to minimise physical contact and thus the risk of contamination. © Nora Teylouni/MSF
30 March 2020: MSF opens an accommodation structure with an initial capacity of 50 beds (with the possibility to expand to 150 beds) for vulnerable people in Brussels, Belgium. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF
31 March 2020: People who live rough on the streets are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. In Paris and the surrounding suburbs, MSF’s mobile clinic ensures rough sleepers have access to primary healthcare services. © Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF
31 March 2020: MSF nurse Charline Vincent examines a man at MSF's mobile clinic, which is set up at Porte de la Villette, near a food distribution site in Paris. © Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF
31 March 2020: MSF teams continue to deliver lifesaving medical aid and relief items to internally displaced people in northwest Syria, while also preparing for COVID-19. Here, people observe social distancing measures as they wait for a consultation at MSF’s mobile clinic in an IDP camp. © Omar Haj Kadour/MSF
31 March 2020: An MSF nurse wearing personal protective equipment talks with a young boy, who has brought one of his relatives for a consultation at MSF’s mobile clinic in an IDP camp, in northwest Syria. © Omar Haj Kadour/MSF
1 April 2020: More than 93 percent of COVID-19-related deaths in Belgium have occurred among the over-65s. To support local health authorities, we have sent mobile teams of nurses and health promoters to visit more than 150 care homes in Brussels. During their visits, the teams check if any residents are infected with the virus, organise the best way to isolate them and arrange medical care in the absence of regular visits by doctors. The teams also support and train care home staff on how to disinfect potentially contaminated areas and use protective equipment most effectively when it is in short supply. © Olivier Papegnies/MSF
2 April 2020: As part of our COVID-19 response in Belgium, we are supporting the CHU Ambroise Paré hospital in Mons. Here, MSF and hospital staff discuss how best to manage the workflow. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF
2 April 2020: MSF teams have set-up COVID-19 triage at the humanitarian hub in Brussels, where several organisations are collaborating to support migrants in the city. © Kristof Vadino/MSF
4 April 2020: An MSF team of logisticians and water and sanitation experts set up a medical care tent at Reims University Hospital in Reims, France, to increase its intensive care capacity. © Agnes Varraine Leca/MSF
3 April 2020: In Barcelona, we are helping to design external structures aimed at decongesting hospitals in the city. © Santiago D. Risco/MSF
6 April 2020: In Greece, we are providing support to asylum seekers on Lesbos and Samos, sharing health information with camp residents and putting in place procedures to support referrals for potential COVID-19 cases. Our teams have also adapted facilities and procedures to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Here, an MSF medic checks the temperature of a young boy at the clinic in Moria camp on Lesbos. © Peter Casaer/MSF
6 April 2020: Before attending MSF's paediatric clinic outside Moria camp on Lesbos, patients are first screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If staff suspect a patient has coronavirus, we will contact the Greek authorities, who are responsible for the healthcare of people living in the camp. We are constantly adapting our response and doing everything possible to protect both our patients and staff. © Peter Casaer/MSF
MSF is supporting the Bihar State Government by providing crucially needed personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers. This includes N-95 masks, eye/face protection, gloves and high quality body protection, and viral transport mediums used in the testing of COVID-19 patients. The equipment will be used by medical staff in Nalanda Medical College and Hospital and other facilities in Bihar to ensure their safety. © MSF

We cannot win this fight alone.

As our teams on the frontline work to save lives and protect the people already in our care, we must all take steps to end this pandemic.

Follow government advice and stay at home to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 and prevent more unnecessary deaths.

If you can, donate to our Coronavirus Crisis Appeal.

As we fight this pandemic, your support is as crucial as ever.

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