COVID-19 Health Help Desk


National Societies' and volunteers' roles will change through the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective countries and communities, based on which activities to support public health, clinical and health systems activities are likely to be most impactful in their context and with their outbreak dynamics. National Societies must work with their public authorities so that both the government and National Societies understand their respective mandates and the roles the National Society is technically and organizationally able to take on. National Societies should be prepared to adapt their operations over time as the outbreak progresses and appropriate outbreak response measures change. Throughout, it is important that National Societies identify their high-risk activities and plan to adapt and scale them to ensure vulnerable communities maintain access to life-saving health and humanitarian services throughout the epidemic.



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  • A comprehensive toolkit of guidance resources
  • Self-support via FAQ
  • Direct technical guidance provided remotely via
  • Learning webinars for topics with broad need for guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) offers guidance related to the public health and clinical health aspects of COVID-19 preparedness and response.

Frequently Asked Questions include:


  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
  • What is the role of National Societies in addressing the direct and indirect health impacts of COVID-19?
  • How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
  • What is community-based surveillance (CBS)?
  • How can National Societies get involved in the introduction of vaccines against COVID-19?

And many more

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    Tools and Guidance

    Review the following resources' pages which include guidance materials, checklists, information assets, and more:

    General IFRC Guidance 

    Overarching IFRC guidance on how to provide health support in each phase of pandemic response.

    Disaster Risk Management

    Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    • General Information and Response Options

      • Risk, evidence, and modeling
      • Strategic guidance
      • Health care in danger

    • Public Health Measures to Prevent & Suppress Transmission

      • Epidemic control for volunteers
      • Fragile, complex and humanitarian settings
      • Home care
      • Management of the dead
      • Point of entry and screening
      • Quarantine
      • Risk communication, community engagement, and accountability
      • Surveillance and contact tracing
      • Detention centres
      • Testing

    • Vaccination against COVID-19

      • Introduction of vaccines 
      • Development of national vaccination plans
      • Vaccine acceptance
      • Community engagement for vaccination

    • Community and Home Based Care & Older People

      • Home care for coronavirus patients
      • Advice on the use of masks
      • Guidance for working with older people

    • Personal Protective Equipment

      • Cloth Masks
      • Personal protective equipment guide
      • Quality assurance of PPE

    • Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

      • Recommended PPE for WASH activities
      • Guide on how to encourage community-level handwashing
      • Waste management

    • Clinical and Prehospital Care

      • Infection prevention and control
      • Clinical response
      • Prehospital care

    • Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MPHSS)

      • Psychological coping during disease outbreak - elderly and people with chronic conditions.
      • Mental health and psychosocial support for staff, volunteers, and communities.

    • Maintaining Essential Community and Clinical Health Services During the Pandemic

      • Operational guidance
      • Education
      • First Aid
      • Harm reduction for people who use drugs
      • HIV care
      • Community-based health
      • Community-based health and first aid
      • Malaria
      • Non-communicable diseases
      • Sexual and reproductive health

    • National Society Health Preparedness

      • Guidance
      • Preparedness for Effective Response
      • RCRC Movement Civil-Military Relations
      • RCRC Epidemics and Pandemics Resolution
      • Key messages

    • Volunteer and Staff Health and Wellbeing

      • Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
      • IFRC Staff Health Guidance
      • Guide for spontaneous volunteers
      • Checklist - mobilization

    • Blood Services

      • Blood safety
      • Securing blood supply
      • up-coming webinars

    • Protection, Gender, and Inclusion

      • Sexual and Gender-based violence

    Related Topics

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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