Timeline of WHO’s response to COVID-19

This timeline supersedes the WHO Rolling Updates and WHO Timeline statement published in April 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive and does not contain details of every event or WHO activity.As of 29 June 2020, the following milestones and events focused on COVID-19 have taken place:

2 June 2020

The Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme addressed the Yemen High-level Pledging Conference, organised to support the humanitarian response and alleviate suffering in the country. The Executive Director said that COVID-19 was placing a major burden on the health system, already on the verge of collapse, and that a “massive scale-up of our COVID and non-COVID health operations” was needed, despite the considerable efforts of WHO and partners.

4 June 2020

WHO welcomed funding commitments made at the Global Vaccine Summit. Hosted virtually by the UK government, this was Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s, third pledging conference. These commitments will help maintain immunization in lower-income countries, mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Summit also highlighted how important a safe, effective and equitably accessible vaccine will be in controlling COVID-19.

5 June 2020

WHO published updated guidance on the use of masks for the control of COVID-19, which provided updated advice on who should wear a mask, when it should be worn and what it should be made of.

13 June 2020

WHO reported that Chinese authorities had provided information on a cluster of COVID-19 cases in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

Officials from the National Health Commission and Beijing Health Commission briefed WHO’s China country office, to share details of preliminary investigations ongoing in Beijing.

WHO offered support and technical assistance, as well as requested further information about the cluster and the investigations underway and planned.

16 June 2020

WHO welcomed initial clinical trial results from the UK that showed dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, could be lifesaving for patients critically ill with COVID-19. The news built off the Global Research and Innovation Forum, which took place in Geneva in mid-February, to accelerate health technologies for COVID-19. The Forum highlighted further research into the use of steroids as a priority.

17 June 2020

WHO announced that the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity Trial to find an effective COVID-19 treatment was being stopped. The decision was based on large scale randomized evidence from the Solidarity, Discovery and Recovery trials, as well as a review of available published evidence from other sources, which showed that hydroxychloroquine did not reduce mortality for hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

26 June 2020

The ACT-Accelerator published its consolidated investment case, calling for $31.3 billion over the next 12 months for diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. A press conference detailed the ACT-Accelerator’s four pillars of work: diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and the health system connector, in addition to the cross-cutting workstream on Access and Allocation.