1. Introduction/Project Description
The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is spreading rapidly across the world since December 2019. As of March 21, 2020, surveillance by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that a total of 266073 clinically-confirmed cases in 172 countries and territories and one international conveyance (the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship) have been recorded with 11184deaths. Based on the scale of transmission, WHO declared the virus a global pandemic, with a call on countries to take proactive measures to prevent and/or respond to further outbreak. As of March 29, 2020, Nepal has recorded five confirmed cases of the disease.Despite this, the Government of Nepal (GoN) recognizes that transmission rates in the country could increase markedly if adequate measures are not put in place.
In responding to the pandemic, the GoN has requested funding from IDA to implement the Nepal: COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.
The project development objective is to respond to and mitigate the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen critical health infrastructure and systems for public health preparedness in Nepal.
It will achieve this objective by :
(i) providing emergency COVID-19 response for better case detection, confirmation, contact tracing, recording, and reporting;
(ii) strengthen the critical hospital and laboratory infrastructure necessary for COVID-19 response and as well as other public health emergencies; and
(iii) strengthen coordination, project implementation capacity, and monitoring.
The Project comprises the following components:
Component 1: Emergency COVID-19 Response.This component would provide urgent support to prevent imported transmission of COVID-19 and limit local transmission through containment strategies. The investments under this sub-component would enhance the disease detection capacities of the divisions of the MoHP — particularly, the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division and the Health Emergency Operation Center — through provision of technical expertise, laboratory equipment and systems to ensure prompt case finding and contact tracing, consistent with WHO guidelines in the Strategic Response Plan. It would enable the country to mobilize surge response capacity through trained and well-equipped frontline health workers.
Supported activities include:
i. Subcomponent 1.1: Case Detection, Confirmation, Contact Tracing, Recording, Reporting aimed at
(i) strengthening disease surveillance systems, public health laboratories, and epidemiological capacity for early detection and confirmation of cases;
(ii) combining detection of new cases with active contact tracing;
(iii) undertaking epidemiological investigation;
(iv) strengthening risk assessment,
(v) providing on-time data and information for guiding decision-making and response and mitigation activities; and (vi) strengthening health management information for the early warning reporting system surveillance network.
Under this sub-component, the project will also finance the procurement of test kits, tubes, glassware and bio-hazard disposal bags and other medical goods for bio-safety;
ii. Subcomponent 1.2: Health System Strengthening. As COVID-19 would place a…
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