COVID-19

Find The Union’s latest resources, guidance and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Latest information about COVID-19

FAQs on COVID-19 and TB

The Union has published a set of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19, focusing on its impact on TB services and the people undergoing TB treatment, and guidance to maintain quality care throughout this period:

COVID-19 and TB: Frequently Asked Questions.

Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Tobacco Control and NCDs Prevention (APCAT), for which The Union is the secretariat, has issued the following guidance on COVID-19, including the role of Mayors and Members of Parliament throughout the crisis and lessons from Singapore. Download the PDF.

IJTLD fast-tracked articles

In order to share scientific research of immediate concern as rapidly as possible, The Union is fast-tracking accepted articles from the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) regarding COVID-19 and publishing them in full on our website, prior to their publication in the Journal.

Collaboration in TB and COVID-19 control in Moscow

In Moscow the challenge is to recognise the similarities between the TB and COVID-19 epidemics, but also to adapt the medical and socio-economic interventions to address the differences.

Preparing national tuberculosis control programmes for COVID-19

Zimbabwe is an example of a high HIV and TB burden setting that is under threat from COVID-19, and is used to demonstrate how TB control programmes might adapt to COVID-19.

Predictive models for COVID-19-related deaths and infections

A new model is proposed for predicting COVID-19-related deaths and infections that can be easily applied worldwide for making better strategic choices. 

Helping Africa to breathe when COVID-19 strikes

In Africa, alternative equipment solutions should be considered to address the needs of people who become critically ill with respiratory failure.

Serology-positive but minimally symptomatic COVID-19 may still cause lung injury and lung function impairment

Cas report showing that a minimally symptomatic COVID-19 patient may still be contagious, and that the residual lung injury and lung function impairment can last for more than 1 month. Follow-up evaluation is necessary for COVID-19 patients regardless of the severity of symptoms.

Critical changes to services for TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Key adaptations to TB service delivery should be considered in high TB burden settings to support TB patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tackling the threat of COVID-19 in Africa: an urgent need for practical planning

For countries in Africa, to tackle the threat of COVID-19, it will be crucial to quickly develop a practical national plan with clear objectives and strategic interventions.

Monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa: focusing on health facility admissions and deaths

African countries should think ahead to the data that will be needed in their health facilities for monitoring COVID-19 and how best this can be collected. This will go some way to helping health services cope with the pandemic. 

Adapting a TB contact investigation strategy for COVID-19

Contact investigation is an important strategy to detect and isolate infection sources and reduce continuing transmission. In this letter the authors propose a strategy for SARS-CoV-2 screening and contact tracing in settings with low levels of community transmission. 

Impact of COVID-19 on tuberculosis control in China

The changes introduced to combat COVID-19 (i.e. restricted movement and change in role of TB hospitals) are a major barrier to patients with TB symptoms seeking health care, with an inevitable delay in diagnostics. The prolonged time spent indoors further accelerates its transmission among household contacts.

Impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak on the management of other communicable diseases

COVID-19 is increasingly the top differential diagnosis in any person with a fever and/or cough regardless of duration, leading to a prompt chest radiograph and isolation of at-risk patients with testing of SARS CoV-2. While such practices mitigate the outbreak, we urge the medical community not to forget other communicable diseases, where appropriate, in the differential diagnoses of patients.  

New diseases and old threats: lessons from tuberculosis for the COVID-19 response

Complementary COVID-19 and TB responses can assist in curbing both epidemics to save lives. Both diseases can utilise the capacity building efforts, along with surveillance and monitoring systems, programmes and infrastructures, diagnostic tools, case-finding strategies and infection control measures and many other lessons to quickly curb the spread. 

Let us not forget the mask in our attempts to stall the spread of COVID-19

Health authorities worldwide have advised that face masks are somewhat effective in limiting the spread of infection when worn by a person who is infected with COVID-19 but do not protect a person who is not infected. However, authors of this editorial argue that face masks, when used systematically in a community, do help slow the spread of the virus.

Official information and guidance

Information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly. Please refer to the guidance from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest information.

The International Aids Society has published guidance on HIV and COVID-19.

The Infectious Diseases Society of Southern Africa (IDSSA) has published Operational guidance on service delivery to TB patients (drug-susceptible and drug-resistant) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19