15 April 2020

Coronavirus - Red Cross response latest

15 April 2020
Team GB and British Red Cross launch #IsolationGames with TikTok

Our #IsolationGames with Team GB are finally here! We can’t wait to see you on TikTok, going for gold in your home events. Moments of kindness and fun will keep us going right now, so get involved! 

Find out more about the #IsolationGames on our twitter here. 

Get involved on TikTok here! 

Tweet from TB launching the #IsolationGames in aid of British Red Cross with TikTok

9 April 2020
128 Red Cross National Societies are responding to COVID-19 across the world

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is helping people across the world through the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here is just some of the activity that has been going on from a few of these Red Cross Societies.

Nicaraguan Red Cross: 

  •  is providing pre-hospital care services for people before they are hospitalised 
  • is supplying protective equipment, like gloves and masks, to staff and volunteers
  • is giving education talks in schools on coronavirus 
  • has trained 27 of its branches in prehospital services and 9 hospitals have been trained in case management and how to effectively quarantine
Tweet from Nicuragua Red Cross showing how to catch a sneeze or cough in a tissue, then bin it!

Nicaragua Red Cross sharing information about how to protect yourself during this crises

Netherlands Red Cross

  •  is continuing to run a helpline for the public, most of their calls so far have been from people who can’t leave their home for grocery shopping and over half the calls are from people aged 60 and over 
  • volunteers continue to help people with dropping off groceries and medicines they can’t otherwise get
Volunteers from Netherlands Red Cross delivering food and supplies to people isolating due to coronavirus

Netherlands Red Cross volunteers dropping off food and flowers for people isolating from coronavirus

  • volunteers are helping health centres with screening visitors at the door: making sure they are washing their hands, have no signs of fever and are wearing masks when entering the centre 
  • more than 125,000 masks, 36,000 protective glasses and 500 litres of disinfectants have been donated to the Netherlands Red Cross – after they are quality checked they are being distributed to health facilities across the country 
On Friday 27 March, the Netherlands Red Cross transferred two trucks of donated protective wear to the government under police escort. They were filled with 4.4 million products, including 3.8 million gloves, almost 400,000 masks, around 82,500 goggles, 3696 liters of disinfectant, 12,547 medical overalls, 48,122 medical aprons and 761 diagnostics tests.

Netherlands Red Cross volunteers preparing donated mask deliveries for hospitals and health centres

Belize Red Cross

  • has distributed 900 posters and flyers with information about coronavirus in strategic points across the country 
  • volunteers and staff who have had training from the Ministry of Health will assist the authorities with managing isolation stations 
  • is distributing meals to vulnerable people who have lost their jobs, and is working with authorities to provide shelter to people facing homelessness while the pandemic continues 
  • is preparing hygiene kits (with liquid hand soap, paper towels, anti-bacterial towels and gloves) to give to vulnerable communities and people in quarantine 
  • is partnering with UNICEF to provide psychosocial support for children
The Belize Red Cross hosts a hand washing demonstration day to ensure people have good hand washing technique. This is one of the steps the national society is taking to reduce the spread of COVID-19

A Belize Red Cross volunteer showing their community how to effectively wash their hands

Bangladesh Red Crescent

  • has trained their midwives from all 56 Mother and Child Health centres on the Bangladesh Government’s guidelines on pregnant and lactating mothers for COVID-19 
  • is preparing to provide 75,000 food parcels (containing rice, beans, oil, sugar, salt and semolina)
  • has 1,221 Red Cross Youth volunteers supporting disinfection spraying at selected hospitals and in important public places, like bus stations 
  • has adapted it’s Cyclone Preparedness Program to empower it’s volunteers to teach people in their communities about hand-washing and other hygiene practices, 1,761 of these volunteers have been trained so far 
  • has distributed thousands of information sheets in camp settlements and host communities through the Cyclone Preparedness Program volunteers 
  • has given out 8,720 surgical masks and 400 hand sanitizers to Red Cross and Government staff working on coronavirus in Cox’s Bazar (the world’s largest refugee camp) 
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society's trained volunteers spraying disinfectant in public places to fight against COVID-19

Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers are spraying busy public areas with disinfectant

2 April 2020
Gary Lineker is supporting the British Red Cross by donating 2 months of his salary 

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 World at One today Gary Lineker has announced that he will donate 2 months of his salary to the British Red Cross in aid of tackling corona virus and helping the most vulnerable in communities across the UK. 

You can support Gary Lineker's fundraising for the British Red Cross here. 

Gary Lineker said: 

“I’ve decided that I am going to donate 2 months’ salary to the British Red Cross who are on the frontline trying to help in all different ways with the corona virus.  And hopefully lots of other people who are in a position relative wealth can do something similar and I am sure many will.” 

“The British Red Cross have launched a campaign called kindness keeps us together.  They are helping the over 70s and people in very vulnerable circumstances.  Older people, those who are socially isolated and the homeless of course.”  

“There are so many great things that the British Red Cross are doing and am I thankful they have accepted my offer.”

Tweet from Gary Lineker on his donation of two months salary to the British Red Cross

Speaking about the donation, CEO Mike Adamson, said:

"Thank you to Gary Lineker from all of us at the British Red Cross for donating to us and for encouraging others to do the same.”

“We're focused on ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our communities get the help that they need, whether that's isolated older people, refugees or others experiencing severe hardship.”

"Gary's generous donation will help ensure that we can help those who may otherwise fall through the gap during this crisis.”

"This virus may keep us apart, but kindness will keep us together."

1 April 2020
"We must find ways to maintain our global humanity if we are to defeat coronavirus"

As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold across the world, countries will rightly be focussing on delaying, mitigating and recovering from the effects of this deadly virus on their population. But in our attempt to isolate this virus, we must take care not to isolate ourselves completely from the rest of the world...

Read all of our latest blog from Alexander Matheou, Executive Director of International at British Red Cross.

1 April 2020
Tesco to provide a £30million package of support for local communities tackling Covid-19

Mike Adamson, chief executive of British Red Cross, said: “The world is facing an unprecedented global emergency and we are extremely thankful for Tesco’s generous donation which together will help us continue our vital work, putting kindness into action and supporting the most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Find out more here about their generous donation here. 

31 March 2020
President of ICRC highlights coronavirus impact on the most vulnerable globally

Peter Maurer, President of the International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC), spoke with the BBC yesterday calling for a global response to coronavirus to reach the most vulnerable. 

He highlighted the potential impact on parts of the world already facing conflict and hunger, including Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Sahel in Africa. As well as the work of the ICRC in refugee camps with people who have been displaced, or those in detention centres. 

Watch a clip here on Peter Maurer's Twitter. 

Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, speaking on BBC about the most vulnerable people globally to coronavirus

Peter Maurer speaking to the BBC about the most vulnerable people across the world to the coronavirus pandemic

30 March 2020
Scottish Government and British Red Cross call for Scotland Cares volunteers in readiness for Covid-19 peak

The call for volunteers issued by the Scottish Government today, urges people to sign up with the British Red Cross to help those most in need in their communities during the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more about this here. 

26 March 2020
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement appeals for 800 million Swiss francs to assist world’s most vulnerable people in fight against COVID-19

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) is appealing for 550 million swiss francs (£470 million) to help the world’s most vulnerable communities halt the spread of COVID-19 and recover from its effects.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is appealing for 250 million swiss francs (£215 million) to respond in places of conflict and violence, to support medical facilities and places of detention, curb the spread among and ensure medical access for displaced people and detainees, and to support National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their response.

You can read more about this appeal here. 

Netherlands Red Cross volunteers are processing and helping companies donate items like masks and gloves

Netherlands Red Cross volunteers are helping to sort through individual's and small company donations of much needed protective equipment, likes masks and goggles, while their government processes larger company donations 

IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: “This pandemic is putting at risk entire health systems, and the situation will worsen in places where those are weak or inexistent.

"A strong community response is critical to stop the virus. COVID-19 affects everyone equally, but migrants and displaced people, those who are homeless, and those in disaster-prone areas are among those most exposed to infection, least able to access health care, and most impacted by loss of income.

"They must not be forgotten. We must strengthen the support to our Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers who are on the frontline of this response.”

Some groups like homeless people, migrants and prisoners are particularly vulnerable during a pandemic like COVID19. That's why Hellenic Red Cross volunteers are helping them with First Aid, medical checks and information on Coronavirus prevention.

 Some groups like homeless people, migrants and prisoners are particularly vulnerable during a pandemic like COVID19. That's why Hellenic Red Cross volunteers are helping them with First Aid, medical checks and information on how to stay safe during the coronavirus outbreak

ICRC President Peter Maurer said: “The international community must increase support now to the under-resourced communities crippled by conflict, or risk allowing another humanitarian catastrophe to unfold on top of the countless others war-torn communities have endured.

"Viruses know no borders; this is a global problem that will only be solved by global action.”

25 March 2020
Thank you to Aviva for their increased support for our coronavirus response

We are delighted to say that, thanks to a significant additional donation of £10 million by our long-standing partner Aviva, we can accelerate our response, reaching more people – and quickly – to ensure those made most vulnerable by the coronavirus outbreak can get the right support at the right time.

Our partnership with Aviva began in 2016. Together, we focus on building safer and stronger communities, through a range of resilience, disaster preparedness and response programmes in the UK and all over the world. 

LinkedIn post from British Red Cross thanking Aviva for their kind donation to help vulnerable people through the coronavirus outbreak

This additional investment from Aviva and the Aviva Foundation* is one of the biggest single corporate donations ever received by the British Red Cross. This generous donation will help us get more support to where it is needed.

We are committed to making sure this very welcome contribution has the greatest impact, so this £10 million will be spent on vital services to ensure the most vulnerable people are supported at this critical time. 

Read more about this here. 

*The Aviva Foundation is administered by Charities Trust under charity registration number 327489.

22 March 2020
British Red Cross CEO Mike Adamson responds to government announcement on 1.5 million vulnerable people 

Follow British Red Cross Policy on twitter. 

British Red Cross Policy tweets responding to Government announcement that they will write to 1.5 million vulnerable people in the UK
British Red Cross Policy tweets responding to Government announcement that they will write to 1.5 million vulnerable people in the UK

20 March 2020

British Red Cross staff member thanks public for social distancing

Jessi, from our communications team, explains what 'immunocompromised' means and thanks the public for following social distancing advise to protext people like here. 

Watch the full video here. 

British Red Cross staff member thanks the public for social distancing in a video as she is immunocompromised

20 March 2020
Ellie Goulding performs live tonight with LadBible in aid of British Red Cross

Tune in at 8pm GMT on LadBible's facebook. 

Tweet from Ellie Goulding saying she will be singing live on LadBible's facebook in aid of British Red Cross

19 March 2020
British Red Cross volunteers called in to help Trussell Trust in Brent

The Trussell Trust called in support from British Red Cross volunteers to help meet increased demand due to the impact of coronavirus on vulnerable communities, by sorting and packing food parcels. 

Together volunteers are working tirelessly to make sure vital food parcels are available to those who ned them most.

British Red Cross community reserve volunteers were called in to help Trussell Trust staff to sort and pack food parcels at the charity's food bank in Brent.
Tweet from International Federation of the Red Cross showing Spanish Red Cross volunteers helping people in their communities isolated by coronavirus

18 March 2020

British Red Cross partners with National Emergencies Trust (NET) for fundraising appeal to help most vulnerable communities during coronavirus outbreak. 

Read the full press release here. 

Tweet from Mike Adamson, CEO of British Red Cross

18 March 2020
British Red Cross show how you can be K.I.N.D 

Follow British Red Cross on Twitter here. 

British Red Cross tweet asking people to be KIND during the coronavirus outbreak

18 March 2020
British Red Cross deliver donated Nandos to Emergency Department staff at Newport hospital

British Red Cross tweet showing Red Cross volunteers helping deliver 50 Nandos to the Emergency Department at Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport

17 March 2020
An incredible response to our Community Reserve Volunteer drive
More than 79,000 people have signed up as a Community Reserve Volunteers. Thank you to all who registered. While registrations are now paused, there are still many ways to help people across the country.

Explore different volunteer roles

British Red Cross tweet asking people to sign up as Community Reserve Volunteers

16 March 2020
Update from British Red Cross CEO Mike Adamson 

Follow Mike Adamson and British Red Cross on twitter. 

Twitter thread from Mike Adamson, CEO of British Red Cross, explaining the role the organisation will play in the coronavirus outbreak
Mike Adamson, CEO of British Red Cross, twitter thread on our coronavirus response
Twitter thread from Mike Adamson, CEO of British Red Cross, explaining our role in the coronavirus outbreak

13 March 2020
Red Cross responding to coronavirus across Europe 

Red Cross National Societies across the globe are working hard to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. With cases in Europe rising, the Red Cross is intensifying its efforts within the region. 

  • Italian Red Cross is checking temperatures at 25 airports, providing ambulance transport for coronavirus patients, sharing information on a radio show for migrants, helping older and more vulnerable people get prescriptions and groceries, operating a 24-hour call centre, providing training on how to prevent virus spread, and sharing information through social channels with their slogan – Be Smart, Be Safe, Be Kind
Two Italian Red Cross volunteers putting food in shopping trolley ready to deliver to people who are isolated at home

Italian Red Cross volunteers getting groceries to deliver to people in isolation due to the coronavirus outbreak

  • Spanish Red Cross is running online courses to help people stay safe and sharing information on social channels
  • Kyrgyzstan Red Crescent is assisting medical staff at international airports and at road checkpoints, and conducting public health campaigns with key information
  • French Red Cross is running a reception centre for people in quarantine with 30 volunteers, operating a hotline with the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and supporting people at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris
  • Ukrainian Red Cross is distributing information about prevention and anti-stigma, reassuring the public and relatives outside a quarantine facility and broadcasting information over big billboards and posters
Ukraine Red Cross volunteers teaching children in schools how to cough into their elbows to reduce the spread of coronavirus

Ukraine Red Cross volunteer teaching children in school how to cough into their elbows to limit the spread of coronavirus

  • Magen David Adom Israel is transporting coronavirus patients between home and hospitals, providing a special call centre receiving 20,000 calls a day and supporting home testing for coronavirus 
  • Georgian Red Cross is holding information sessions for journalists, distributing information via leaflets to the public and producing videos with volunteers to decrease infection
  • Bulgarian Red Cross is sharing information with migrants in reception centres, sharing tips on social media and they have set up a dedicated hotline for the community 
  • Serbian Red Cross is doing handwashing workshops in schools
  • Hellenic Red Cross is sharing information with migrants in migrant centres and camps 
  • Hungarian Red Cross has teamed up with a partner to send out useful information to the public via text messages
  • Netherlands Red Cross is supporting people in self-isolation and also surveyed the public on mask wearing to better understand public perceptions 
  • Russian Red Cross is running information sessions in train stations, universities and shopping centres 
  • Turkish Red Crescent Society is updating people with a call centre, distributing protective equipment at blood centres and engaging celebrities to share important information
  • German Red Cross has been providing accommodation and care for repatriated Germans and their families (picture below), and is now distributing self-protecting information, as well as donating masks and other protective equipment to Chinese Red Cross
22 German Red Cross volunteers spent 14 days looking after 124 people who had been airlifted by the German Airforce from Wuhan in China and put in quaruntine

22 German Red Cross volunteers spent 14 days looking after 124 people who had been airlifted by the German Airforce from Wuhan in China.

6 March 2020
Red Cross movement ramping up coronavirus activities 

International Federation of the Red Cross, WHO, BBC Media Action and Internews hosted a webinar on The Role of Media in Containing COVBID-10 and Saving Lives, with more than 170 journalists across the globe participating. 

Listen to Session 1 and Session 2

  • The IFRC is working on regional rumour tracking with Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia and the Philippines Red Cross societies. 
  •  The Red Cross Society of China continues to coordinate and promote plasma donation, through distributing posters and leaflets and mobilizing 30 donation coordinators from medical centres in Wuhan to promote plasma donation. Plasma donation from recovered patients is important for the treatment of patients in critical conditions from coronavirus.
  • In the Hubei province of China alone, 52,900 Red Cross volunteers have been supporting 3.66 million people.
  • Since the onset, South Korean Red Cross hospitals have been playing crucial roles in the triage and treatment of coronavirus patients. South Korean Red Cross staff and volunteers are also in communities distributing emergency relief items such as rice, water, masks and hand sanitizers to vulnerable people and those who have chosen to self-quarantine. 
  • IFRC are supporting Nigeria Red Cross with contact tracing, communicating risk and engaging with communities with messaging on health education. Similar support will begin in Senegal and South Africa
  • 22 Red Cross societies in Africa are being supported by the wider Red Cross movement in developing their plans to tackle coronavirus
  • Italian Red Cross continue it’s activities in body temperature checking in airports and stations, training in containing viruses and transporting patients to hospitals. Volunteers are also helping isolated people with food shopping deliveries and getting medicines from pharmacies to homes 
A Italian Red Cross volunteer is handing over a medicine package to someone at their door who is isolated due to coronavirus outbreak

An Italian Red Cross volunteer dropping off medicines to people who are in isolation in Rome, Italy

5 March 2020
British Red Cross release funds to international response

The British Red Cross are releasing funds from it's Disaster Fund supporting the international response of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to this ongoing crisis.

The funds we are sending to the coronavirus response of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will be used to support ongoing activities in the worst affected countries, like China and the Asia Pacific region, such as transporting coronavirus patients to hospitals or providing psychosocial support to people in quarantine. It will also help support Red Cross National Societies in developing countries, who may not have the health care systems to cope, to prepare for coronavirus cases, through public messaging to help people spot symptoms and get the help they need.

4 February 2020 
British Red Cross releases informational videos with TikTok

We’ve put out new information videos on our TikTok on hand washing to prevent coronavirus spread after being approached by TikTok. 

British Red Cross TikTok videos on best practice for coronavirus

28 February 2020
Red Cross active across the world to tackle coronavirus

The latest figures show more than 83,000 cases of coronavirus across 51 countries, with 2,804 deaths. WHO have updated the global risk from coronavirus to ‘very high’, due to the continued increase of cases and countries affected. 

Three hotspots have been identified outside of China – Iran, Italy and South Korea. 

  • The British Red Cross  have now sent four expert personnel to support the global response from Geneva, Beijing and Beirut. 
  • To date, the Beijing Red Cross branch have provided more than 13,980 ambulance services for patients. 
  • The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies submitted an exemptions request for DPRK to the UN Sanctions Committee for COVID-19 related goods such as masks, goggles, and testing kits. The request was quickly granted, and logistics to bring these goods into DPRK is currently being coordinated. So far, more than 650 volunteers have been trained on preparing for crises like the coronavirus outbreak (including early detection, health promotion, psychological first aid and disinfection) and are reaching remote areas by bicycles. 1,500 volunteers in total have been working across four provinces, including 700 bicycles as part of the “Volunteers on Wheels” initiative. 
  • Since late January, the Korean National Red Cross (of South Korea) has been processing cash donations and donations of masks and goggles as needed in their response work. Relief and items of comfort have been distributed by the Red Cross to 847 people evacuated from Wuhan and now in quarantine. Their teams are also providing psycho-social support to these people, and other designated quarantine locations. Six Korean National Red Cross hospitals are now designated triage centres for COVID-19, and doctors, nurses and medical volunteers are helping on request from the Ministry of Health. 
  • Italian Red Cross is conducting body temperature checks of passengers arriving in Italy and providing medical transport for suspected cases. It has purchased ambulances and distributed masks and gloves to volunteers. Medical staff are on hand to support a 24 hour help line. 
  • The Iranian Red Crescent is in close contact with the Iranian Ministry of Health and preparing activities to deal with coronavirus. Materials for the public, staff and volunteers on public health messaging is being distributed and public awareness courses have been organised at the national and local level. An online course is being prepared for public awareness with the Medical Council Organization. The Iranian Red Crescent Society is performing daily screening of staff and personnel to prevent further spread, and relevant protective equipment has been distributed to relief and health workers, as well as Red Crescent staff. 
  • The Japanese Ministry of Health today confirmed the death of a British man who contracted the virus on board Diamond Princess cruise ship, he is the sixth person to have died from the ship. 

27 February 2020

Princess Cruises have confirmed that all guests aboard the Diamond Princess have now disembarked. 

26 February 2020 

Public Health England have published new coronavirus guidance for employers and business. We urge the public to refer to trustworthy sources of information and guidance like Public Health England and World Health Organisation

Public Health England tweet of new coronavirus guidance

24 February 2020
British Red Cross delighted at new baby girl for grandmother cared for by volunteers in the Wirral

Congratulations to Lauren and Tom (pictured below) who are celebrating after the birth of little Evelyn Ruth tonight. Lauren was quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral for 14 days after returning to the UK from Wuhan in China.

When she left the isolation unit and met mother-in-law Jane Williams at the friends and family centre, Lauren was just 10 days from her due date. June said: “We got her home and got her settled and now everything has gone smoothly.”

A family sit for a photo together, pregnant Lauren was put in quaruntine after returning from Wuhan, when she left isolation she was just 10 days from her due date

Congratulations to Lauren (second to right) and Tom (far right) on the birth of their daughter Everlyn Ruth.

24 February 2020

The latest figures show 79,524 cases and 2,626 deaths from COVID-19. WHO has said the world should do more to prepare for a possible coronavirus pandemic. It is too soon to confirm a pandemic, but countries should be “in a phase of preparedness” as the spread is “deeply concerning”. WHO also stress that the mortality rate is not known yet. 

More than 620 people onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, carrying 3,7000 people on board, have tested positive for coronavirus, with two deaths from the ship now being reported. 

Italy has the largest number of coronavirus cases in Europe (currently 165 cases, and five deaths), and officials there have imposed strict quarantine restrictions in two northern “hotspot” regions close to Milan and Venice. 

South Korea has raised its coronavirus alert to the “highest level”, the UK Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo. 

Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan have closed their borders to Iran, following 61 reported cases of coronavirus and 12 deaths. 

24 February 2020
British Red Cross supporting government at Heathrow isolation centre

The British Red Cross supported Government efforts to set up an isolation centre at Heathrow airport, providing equipment and supplies from our stores.

Volunteers – including Community Response Volunteers (CRVs) – went door to door in nearby Harlington, handing out public information leaflets and offering reassurance to more than 200 homes.

21 February 2020
British Red Cross welcomes approval of sanctions exemptions for coronavirus in DPRK

The British Red Cross welcomes the approval of the exemptions request to the UN Sanction Committee by the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) for materials urgently required to enable effective prevention and response to the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The urgent exemptions request was granted on Friday (21 Feb). The material approval, mainly relates to emergency health interventions to prevent and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreak. 

Such exemptions to the UN sanctions, imposed on DPRK by UN Security Council Resolution 1718 (2006) and subsequent resolutions, are crucial so that the IFRC can continue life-saving humanitarian efforts in this country. This allows humanitarian goods to reach vulnerable communities in DPRK. It is essential that these exemption channels are open and effective, and the current challenges around coronavirus highlight why. In October 2019, the IFRC was allowed to bring humanitarian assistance into DPRK following months of drought.

You can watch our head of humanitarian policy, Kimberly Brown, speak to the BBC about this here. 

Kimberly Brown, head of humanitarian policy at British Red Cross, speaks on the BBC about the impact of sanctions on the DPRK with preparing for the coronavirus outbreak

21 February 2020 
Red Cross providing psychosocial support for Diamond Cruise

The Japanese Red Cross Society members are a part of the Disaster Psychiatric Assistance Team (DPAT) that has been providing psychosocial support inside the cruise ship. This is a vital part of any emergency response, ensuring people’s emotional wellbeing is being looked after during a crises and so they can recover better afterwards. Red Cross medical staff working on board Diamond Princess have also been provided psychosocial support on returning to their hospitals. 

The DPRK Red Cross Society has been working closely with the Ministry of Public Health, and intensifying preparing for coronavirus. The national network of Red Cross volunteers have been carrying out health and hygiene promotion activities, community-based surveillance, psychosocial first aid and supplying masks and goggles. 

19 February 2020
Red Cross asking coronavirus survivors to donate plasma for virus research and treatment

The Japanese Ministry of Health will begin disembarking the Diamond Princess today, where people have been quarantined due to hundreds of positive coronavirus tests. 

The national headquarters of the Red Cross Society of China has been encouraging their branches to speak with and encourage recovered coronavirus patients to donate plasma to treat those battling the virus. So far, 86 people across China have become “anti-epidemic” plasma donors. 

Two Red Cross volunteers consult a clipboard of patients to collect in the ambulance they are standing beside

Red Cross volunteers in China preparing for coronavirus patient transportation

18 February 2020
Red Cross in China dedicated to tackling coronavirus

Between the 12 and 17 February, the Red Cross Society of China has sent out their ambulances hundreds of times, moving 722 people in need of medical care. 

Coronavirus timeline 2 - Red Cross Society of China  IFRC 1084 x 610

Red Cross volunteers helping people with coronavirus get to hospital for the treatment they need

A medical team of 156 staff and volunteers, covering respiratory, emergency critical care, cardiology, medical psychology, and other specialist fields, has been sent from Shanghai Red Cross Hospital to Hubei province. The society also supported 120 local emergency centres and the hospital designated for the treatment of coronavirus patients, with patient transport. 

Red Cross emergency rescue teams in Chizhou and Anhui provinces have also set up 20 tents as detection points along highway intersections and in communities. They have also set up temporary offices for front-line workers, and have helped in temperature checking of people in vehicles. 

Red Cross volunteer using fogging to decontaminate the area

British Red Cross volunteer using fogging to decontaminate the area

The British Red Cross are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). UN sanctions, imposed on DPRK by UN Security Council Resolution 1718 (2006) and subsequent resolutions, continue to limit the capacity of aid groups like the Red Cross to respond effectively and proportionately to the growing humanitarian needs. There is a clear need for sustained and even expanded humanitarian assistance, and COVID19 is a chilling example of why the exemption process and flow of humanitarian goods must work efficiently and effectively. 

Even without the threat of COVID-19, which will create greater humanitarian needs, close to 40 per cent of the population (an estimated 10.4 million people) are already in need of humanitarian assistance – making them extremely vulnerable to further stresses and shocks. 

Given the coronavirus outbreak, this is not just a humanitarian issue for the DPRK but for the world, as everyone is working hard to prevent the spread. There is currently no other mode available for humanitarian intervention. We must act now.

16 February 2020

A total of 355 people are in quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19. Three countries have said they will fly their citizens currently on the ship back home. 

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) continue to progress their action plan for the coronavirus outbreak, focussing on supporting affected countries and getting resources to relevant Red Cross national societies. 

The British Red Cross will be sending an expert delegate to Geneva at the end of February to assist with coordinating the response. 

14 February 2020 

Working with the Japanese Ministry of Health, the Japanese Red Cross Society has been providing medical support to people who have tested positive to coronavirus onboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess (where 218 people are positive so far). 

The Japanese Red Cross Society has sent doctors, nurses and pharmacists for an initial two weeks to support. All Red Cross staff on the ship have safety guidelines, and there are plans in place for infection-control measures for staff before, during and after their deployment. 

Some further Red Cross hospital staff have also been managing transferring coronavirus patients to hospitals. The Japanese Red Cross Society runs 91 hospitals across Japan, and these have been accepting patients confirmed with or suspected of having coronavirus to provide them medical care. 

The Korean Red Cross have sent a batch of in-kind donations, including masks and bedsheets, to the Wuhan Red Cross branch. They are also supporting people in their own country with hygiene and food items who are in quarantine.

Red Cross volunteers in South Korea sort through donated masks and other vital items to tackle coronavirus

Volunteers from the Korean Red Cross (South Korea) sort through donated masks to distibute to people

The Indonesia Red Cross Society are helping people evacuated from Wuhan, on Natuna Island where they are being quarantined.  

13 February 2020 

As the first group of people to be isolated at Arrowe Park Hospital leave quarantine, British Red Cross volunteers and staff support their reunion with loved ones at the friends and family hub in Wallasey.

The Red Cross has been working alongside NHS England, Public Health England, Wirral Council and other partners on Merseyside.

Tweet from the British Red Cross about our support in the Wirral for the family and friends of people in quaruntine after returning from Wuhan

Jane Williams (pictured below) was reunited with her son Tom, his wife Lauren and their two and a half year old son James. Lauren (pictured below) was just 10 days from giving birth to her second child when she left Arrowe Park.

Jane Williams was reunited with her son Tom, his wife Lauren and their two and a half year old son James after they were quarantined after returning from Wuhan

Jane said: “They’ve been very well cared for.  They are very thankful for everything that’s been done for them.

“They had two weeks in self-quarantine in Wuhan before they came over, so they’ve had four weeks confined to quarters.

“They left with nothing.  They had an hour’s notice and they walked away without anything.

“For me, the very stressful bit was before they came and not knowing whether they could get out of China and how.

“Once I knew they were on the flight home, it was just a huge relief.

“I haven’t been stressed since they’ve been here, especially after the first day or two when we knew they were being so well looked after.”

Kerry Threadgill is a British Red Cross community fundraiser who volunteered at the family centre.

She said: “I’ve mainly been meeting and greeting.  It’s been nice to chat to people and ask how they are doing and feeling and just making sure they’re OK.

“Some people were excited, one was quite emotional which is to be expected because she hadn’t seen her family for a few weeks.

“Generally, people were really happy and positive.

“We’ve all worked together really well.  It’s been quite seamless and really nice to work with other organisations and volunteers from the British Red Cross I don’t normally get to spend time with.

“As fundraisers we rarely get to do the hands-on bit so it’s nice to volunteer with the ER team and support other services.

“It affirms how amazing the Red Cross is in that the scope of our work is so huge – supporting people after a house fire or something very different like this.”

Tweet from British Red Cross showing our support of family and friends while their families were quaruntined on returning from Wuhan, China

12 February 2020

Japan health officials have confirmed another 44 cases of coronavirus onboard Diamond Princess. 

The Red Cross Society of China have been sending out emergency rescue and transportation teams in Wuhan, to transport patients who have coronavirus. All necessary personal protective equipment and protection training has been provided to the teams. 

Their disinfection volunteers have also conducted sanitation and disinfection activities across six cities in Hubei province. On average, mobilizing and delivering 200 tons of disinfection items every day, while also training local communities in disinfection. 

A total of 250 new volunteers have been trained in delivering preventative messaging with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Red Cross Society. This will be delivered through home visits, community gatherings and other public and working places. The DPRK Red Cross Society is also carrying out surveillance work with community health workers, and they have distributed 5,000 blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, water purification tablets and jerry cans. Disinfectant has also been sent to health clinics, schools and nurseries. 

The Korean Red Cross has been sending in-kind donations, of masks, gloves, goggles and bedsheets, to the Wuhan Red Cross branch. 

Red Cross volunteers sorting through donated masks to hand out to people who need them to protect against coronavirus

Volunteers with the Korean Red Cross sorting through donated masks to send to Wuhan

11 February 2020

An additional 39 people have tested positive for coronavirus on the cruise ship Diamond Princess. Cases now total 146 with nationalities from Australia, Canada, UK, Japan, Philippines, Ukraine and USA . 

As of this morning, there have been 43,141 confirmed cases globally, with 1,018 deaths. The virus has been officially named ‘Covid-19’ (the word coronavirus refers to the group of viruses it belongs to, rather than this current strain). 

The IFRC’s appeal has revised their first appeal to ten times the funding originally requested, this reflects how this is becoming an increasingly worldwide issue. The overall objectives of the appeal are to reduce cases and deaths, and the social impact of the 2019 coronavirus outbreak, by slowing transmission and ensuring communities affected have access to basic health and social services.

Follow IFRC on twitter for the latest updates to our response. 

Tweet from the International Federation of the Red Cross saying it is increasing it's response to coronavirus dated 11 February 2020

Eleven expert personnel from across the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement are now in post after being deployed to support the response. They are providing expertise from our offices in Geneva, Kuala Lumper and Geneva. 

To compliment the response of the WHO, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement response will target the most at-risk countries and communities. Each National Society will have a different response, depending on their community’s needs. 

A top priority for ourselves, the WHO and other UN agencies responding, is getting the right personal protective equipment (like goggles and masks) to all our staff and volunteers working hard in affected communities and health facilities. 

One of the big challenges of this outbreak, we and the world are facing, is misinformation. The response has been accompanied by a massive “infodemic”, making it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and evidence-based guidance. Understanding of the virus is evolving so information will become clearer. 

We urge everyone to refer to the World Health Organisation for the latest information and advice, and for UK specific information please see Public Health England for guidance. Also follow WHO rel="noopener noreferrer" on twitter here, and Public Health England on twitter here

10 February 2020 

Since the 22 January, 8,239 vehicles have been sent out by the Beijing Red Cross Branch to transport people with coronavirus symptoms. 

Specialist China Red Cross ambulances are lined up waiting to go out and collect coronavirus patients and take them to hospitals for treatment

Specialist Red Cross ambulances ready to transport coronavirus patients in China

9 February 2020 

An further 66 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, in Japan. The quarantine end date remains 19 February from the Japanese Ministry of Health. 

6 February 2020 

41 people have now tested positive for coronavirus on the Diamond Princess, currently quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. 

The Japanese Ministry of Health has confirmed the end date of quarantine will be 19 February 2020, unless there are any further developments.  

4 February 2020

It’s been confirmed that the coronavirus outbreak has spread to the cruise ship Diamond Princess after people onboard tested positive yesterday. A man who had left the cruise on 25 January in Hong Kong, tested positive for coronavirus on land. 

Ten people on board the Diamond Princess have now tested positive for coronavirus, following screening on the ship carried out by the Japanese Ministry of Health. These people are due to be taken to local hospitals for treatment. The remaining passengers, more than 2,600 and 1,045 staff, will be quarantined on the ship in Yokohama. 

To date the virus has resulted in 427 deaths and 20,679 cases have been identified globally.

Airport screening has been introduced in 18 countries. According to various modelling, the outbreak is expected to continue to spread geographically with the number of new cases rising rapidly in the next days and weeks. 

Without a full picture of the number of people affected, it is not possible to accurately calculate the mortality rate. However, current figures point to a mortality rate around two per cent. 

So far, the main activities of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have been: 

  • Community engagement and communicating risks 
  •  Building capabilities of National Societies in affected countries to respond to an epidemic
  • Psychosocial support to the general population, and targeted populations
  • Supporting affected governments with their responses
  • Support to high risk populations such as home-based carers 

Risk assessments are under development for all National Societies, taking into account how the virus could potentially be imported (proximity and links to China), how easily coronavirus is spreading from person to person, and the capacity of the health systems to respond. 

The Red Cross Society of China continues to work in close coordination with the Chinese authorities, working closely with local government and authorities to support control of the disease. They have also set up a 24-hours international donate line – 010-64026934. 

A row of specialist ambulances of the China Red Cross waiting to collect coronavirus patients and take them to hospital for treatment

The Japanese Red Cross Society has increased their surveillance of the outbreak, and strengthened the case management capacity in 91 Red Cross hospitals in preparation. 

The Republic of Korea National Red Cross is sharing information about the outbreak and tracing the spread. The Philippine Red Cross, Thai Red Cross Society and Myanmar Red Cross Society have also heavily invested in sharing prevention messages on social media. 

Follow British Red Cross on twitter for the latest on our support of family and friends of people quarantined in the Wirral on their return from Wuhan. 

Tweet from the British Red Cross explaining it's response in supporting friends and family of those quarantined on their return to the UK from Wuhan

3 February 2020 

The work of the British Red Cross features widely in the media with the BBC, ITV and local radio and press reporting that the family and friends information centre on the Wirral is open. 

British Red Cross volunteer, Kerry, signing in family and friends who are there to be close to their friends or family in quarantine in the Wirral after returning from Wuhan

British Red Cross volunteer, Kerry, signing in family and friends who are there to be close to their friends or family in quarantine in the Wirral after returning from Wuhan

Red Cross emergency response operations manager Rob Colburn said: “It gives people the chance to be around other families going through the same thing and to air some of their natural worries.

“It’s supporting them, getting them information and working with them so we find out what they need to help them cope.

“The big focus, of course, is one the people in isolation but it’s the ripple effect that we’re helping with.

“For every person in quarantine, there are family and friends who may be worried and anxious.

“What we’re doing in a small way is trying to support the individuals not immediately affected but still just as in need of some emotional support.”

1 February 2020

A cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, off the coast of Japan, has confirmed a guest from Hong Kong has tested positive for coronavirus after travelling for five days on the cruise. Follow their latest updates here. 

31 January 2020 

British Red Cross volunteers and staff help to set up a family and friends information centre for the loved ones of those quarantined at an isolation unit at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral, Merseyside.

 Some of the supplies sent to the centre – including games and books – were collected from the British Red Cross shop in Old Swan, Liverpool.

31 January 2020 

The IFRC launches their emergency appeal, leading the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in our global response. This is an internal appeal, so the public can’t donate into it, and so activates the Movement to allocate resources and personnel to tackle the outbreak. The appeal also calls for a number of expert personnel from across the Movement to be deployed to coordinate the response. 

The IFRC in Geneva is coordinating global guidance, information sharing and support to its 192 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies to prepare and be ready to respond through its five regional offices. 

The initial appeal is concentrated on response and preparedness in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, as the worst affected and due to close proximity to China. The focus is on risk communication and community engagement, services provision and National Society preparedness. 

30 January 2020 

WHO declare the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The risk is classified as ‘very high’ for China, and ‘high’ for the region and globally. 

Tweet from the International Federation of the Red Cross welcoming the WHO announcement declaring the coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency

3 February 2020 

The work of the British Red Cross features widely in the media with the BBC, ITV and local radio and press reporting that the family and friends information centre on the Wirral is open. 

Tweet from the International Federation of the Red Cross wishing everyone a Happy New Chinese Year, and sharing information about coronavirus

23 January 2020

Emergency Committee of the WHO is convened under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), and determines that the event does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 

22 January 2020

Follow IFRC Asia Pacific region on twitter for the latest updates and information on the coronavirus outbreak. 

Tweet from International Federation of the Red Cross sharing information about coronavirus

20 January 2020

China's National Health Commission confirmed that human-to-human transmission of the virus has been observed.

19 January 2020

First reports of infection in healthcare workers caring for patients with confirmed coronavirus.  

13 January 2020

The virus spreads cross borders for the first time as Thailand and Japan announce their first cases, in individuals who travelled from Wuhan.

11 January 2020 

The first death of coronavirus was declared by Chinese health authorities.

9 January 2020 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announces that the outbreak in Wuhan is caused by a previously unknown type of coronavirus. The virus is temporarily called 2019-nCoV.

Since the onset of the outbreak, the Red Cross Society of China has been sharing critical risk information on their social channels and coordinating with the government’s response. They are also running donation centres to receive in-kind donations within China. 

1 January 2020 

The market suspected to be the origin of the outbreak is now closed.

31 December 2019 

The government of China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) is closely monitoring the situation and working with all affected National Societies. 

Coronavirus - latest updates from British Red Cross