WHO March 2020, Medical Devices Newsletter: COVID-19 and in vitro diagnostics

WHO Medical Devices Newsletter

Dear colleagues, we are all facing very difficult times in the world with the COVID pandemic.

Some extracts from WHO media briefing:

 Today’s  Friday 13, WHO news: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-03-2020-who-un-foundation-and-partners-launch-first-of-its-kind-covid-19-solidarity-response-fund 

“Funds will go towards actions outlined in the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to enable all countries – particularly those most vulnerable and at-risk, and with the weakest health systems – to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 crisis including rapidly detecting cases, stopping transmission of the virus, and caring for those affected.

WHO and its partners are seeking financing for protective equipment for frontline health workers; to equip diagnostic laboratories; improve surveillance and data collection; establish and maintain intensive care units; strengthen supply chains; accelerate research and development of vaccines and therapeutics;  and take other critical steps to scale up the public health response to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is hosted by two foundations, the UN Foundation (registered in the United States) and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (registered in Switzerland). Both foundations have established relationships with the World Health Organization, allowing for efficient transfer of financial resources to enable COVID-19 response efforts.”

Last Friday 6th March, WHO news acknowledging need for medical devices:


“….Separately, WHO has developed a list of more than 20 essential medical devices that countries need to manage patients, including ventilators and oxygen supply systems.

Access to medical oxygen could be the difference between life and death for some patients, but there is already a shortage in many countries, which could be exacerbated by this epidemic.

We encourage every country to review WHO’s disease commodity package for COVID-19 to ensure it has the supplies it needs, including protective equipment and medical devices.”  

 Please find below important  information

 1. Coronavirus 2019-nCov 

1.1 Technical guidance: WHO is updating technical guidance every day, please find it here:


1.2 Disease commodity package, includes the tech specs of products needed  for COVID. This list was just updated this week .


1.3 Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19, updated this week:


1.4 Daily Situation reports,  that includes information from countries on existing and new cases, can be found:  


 1.5  Research and Development,   Blue print and innovation

 to accelerate  vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics for Novel Coronavirus


WHO publishes Emergency Use Listing ( EUL)  procedure and roadmap to make new medical products more readily available during health emergencies


2. WHO consultation on the Model list of essential in vitro diagnostics, open session has been postponed.

We thank you for your interest in attending the Open Session of the Third meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on in Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE IVD) on 23 March 2020 in Geneva.

Due to escalating health concerns relating to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the one-day open session has been postponed to a future date, which will be communicated to you. 

The priority now is to have available diagnostics for COVID, protect population and provide health services to patients, so the SAGE IVD is being postponed.

More information on COVID-19 can be found here. Particularly on laboratory testing can be found here.


In the meanwhile, the SAGE IVD secretariat will be pleased to accept any comment, suggestion and concerns from the public, regarding :  

  1. Essential Diagnostic List and review of the submissions, until 23 March 2020,

Including:  on the submissions for new test categories ( 26), submissions for negative listing (2) or for additional evidence for conditional listing on the 2nd EDL, to be discussed for the 3rd EDL. (5)

  1. Other general issues you want to comment, please kindly contact edlsecretariat@who.int

3. WHO Employment  

 Closing Date: Mar 16, 2020, Primary Location: Switzerland-Geneva, Organization: HQ/MHP Access to Medicines and Health Products:  

Director, Health Product Policy and Standards  (2000455)

Director, Regulation and Prequalification(2000305)

Link to: More employment postings. !!!

 4. Subscribe to WHO Newsletter,

In the link below you can register to the  WHO general news


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