MCAST COVID-19

Information Page

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. We know that many people are understandably concerned about the current pandemic situation. MCAST is taking increased health and safety measures to address these concerns while ensuring that learning can continue. As the situation continues to develop, please stay updated by visiting mcast.edu.mt/covid19 for the latest information. You can also visit the circulars section for all the official messages sent to staff and students.

 

Distancing

News (English) - World Health Organization Corporate news releases, statements, and notes for media issued by the World Health Organization.

  • Suspension of supply of COVID-19 vaccine (COVAXIN®)
    on April 4, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Suspension of supply of Covaxin produced by Bharat, through UN procurement agencies and recommending to countries that received the vaccine to take actions as appropriate.

  • WHO, Qatar, FIFA leaders agree actions to promote health at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™
    on April 1, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    As part of a unique global partnership to promote health, the senior leadership of the World Health Organization (WHO), the State of Qatar and FIFA today agreed a range of measures that will be implemented at this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ to protect and encourage health; and take lessons learned from the first tournament in the Middle East and Arab world to share with future mega sporting events.The heads of WHO, Qatar Ministry of Public Health, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) met together for the first Steering Committee meeting of the “Healthy FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health” partnership. Launched in late 2021, the partnership is committed to:protecting the health of all those involved in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™: FIFA, WHO and Qatar have teamed up to ensure the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is a healthy and safe event from the implementation of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the provision of healthy menu options;using the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ as a platform to promote healthy lifestyles:The tournament will inspire millions around the world to play more football and be more active including a global campaign to raise awareness of the health benefits of physical activity. The State of Qatar have also signed a 3-year partnership with WHO to improve healthcare access and promote healthy lifestyles across the country; andcreating a blueprint to protect and promote health at future mass gatherings: The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™represents a unique opportunity to develop a new approach to organizing mega sports events factoring-in lessons learnt from the pandemic and reinforcing sports and health as a pathway for recovery."The State of Qatar is proud to be the first country from the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup,” said HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Public Health and Chair of the Steering Committee Meeting. “Our overall goal is not just to hold a successful sporting event, but to also show how football and sports in general can be drivers of better health for all people. This is why we are working so closely with WHO, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.”At today’s meetings, the Steering Committee leaders agreed a range of action areas to be taken for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and future events, including:build on actions taken at the FIFA Arab Cup™ in late 2021, strengthen health emergency preparedness and ensure maintenance of precautionary measures for containing infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to keep people safe and healthy;provide healthy food options inside stadiums and fan zones; enhance tobacco prevention in stadiums, fan zones and other areas;start collaborative agreements with countries to benchmark legacy building activities; andexchange lessons learned with the International Olympic Committee for Paris 2024 and Milano Cortina 2026.“WHO is committed to working with the State of Qatar and FIFA to leverage the global power of football to help people lead the healthiest lives possible,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “This partnership will help to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a role model for healthy sporting events.” The first-of-its-kind agreement was also lauded by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who said, “It’s important that the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East will be the healthiest World Cup ever. Here, we put our efforts together through this innovative partnership to promote health in a different way, using the power of football to communicate certain messages. We have been working together on different awareness campaigns and what better platform now than the FIFA World Cup for passing the Health for All message?"“You have to do whatever you can to protect your health and that of those around you. That is part of education and that is why we are proud to be part of this team here. We need health for football, and we need football for health. Let’s win this World Cup, our World Cup, which is a World Cup of humanity in the end,” Mr Infantino added.As part of the agreement, two SC legacy programmes – Generation Amazing and B4Development (B4D) – will provide operational and technical collaboration on a range of projects. Generation Amazing is a football for development programme that has positively impacted more than 725 000 people globally since being launched during Qatar’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup™, while B4D is the region’s first “nudge unit” that utilizes behavioural science to solve a range of societal issues. H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General, said, “As FIFA World Cup hosts, Qatar has worked to underscore the importance of leaving sustainable and transformative social legacies that improve lives – in Qatar, within our region and around the world.” “This partnership is critical for us as we prepare for hosting the world at the end of this year in the context of the pandemic, which has affected so many lives around the world.  We’re engaging in every effort along with local and international partners to ensure a healthy and safe FIFA World Cup.”“Together, our work with FIFA and WHO will add to our current efforts, including projects delivered by our legacy programmes such as Generation Amazing and B4Development, to ensure the first FIFA World Cup in our region serves as a benchmark for future mega-events across the globe,” he added. Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, reinforced the Organization’s commitment to advancing health for all in the Region, and said that the partnership between WHO and Qatar would support improvements in physical activity, mental health and organized sports. “WHO looks forward to working closely with Qatar in the months ahead to use the platform that sporting events offer to bring people together and foster solidarity, which is the core of our regional vision of 'Health for all by all: a call for solidarity and action', while at the same time promoting healthier habits, from diet to physical activity, for people of all ages, genders and cultures.”

  • Billions of people still breathe unhealthy air: new WHO data
    on April 1, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits, and threatens their health. A record number of over 6000 cities in 117 countries are now monitoring air quality, but the people living in them are still breathing unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, with people in low and middle-income countries suffering the highest exposures.

  • WHO’s training for caregivers of children with autism goes online
    on March 30, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    In the lead-up to World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, WHO is releasing an online version of its training programme for caregivers of children with developmental delays or disabilities, including autism. The programme, which has already been piloted in face-to-face format in more than 30 countries, such as Brazil, India, Italy and Kenya, teaches parents and other caregivers day-to-day skills that help boost the well-being and development of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

  • Egypt and Nigeria medicines regulators achieve high maturity level in WHO classification and WHO launches list of regulatory authorities that meet international standards
    on March 30, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Today, WHO announced that Egypt’s and Nigeria’s medical products regulatory agencies had reached maturity level 3. This means that these national bodies have been found to function well and that they could be eligible for inclusion into the transitional WHO Listed Authorities, a list that will comprise the world’s regulators of reference – that is, regulatory authorities that should be globally recognized as meeting WHO and other international standards.Egypt has reached maturity level 3 for vaccines regulation (locally produced and imported) and Nigeria for medicines and imported vaccines. The two countries join Ghana and Tanzania as effective regulatory systems on the African continent. Several other African regulators are currently under assessment.   WHO’s assessment of regulatory authorities is based on the ‘ Global Benchmarking Tool’ – an evaluation tool that checks regulatory functions against a set of more than 260 indicators – covering core regulatory functions such as product authorization, testing of products, market surveillance and the ability to detect adverse events – to establish their level of maturity and functionality. Regulatory authorities that reach maturity levels 3 and 4 will be eligible for inclusion among WHO-listed authorities, after additional evaluation of their performance.The benchmarking of Egypt and Nigeria’s regulators was carried out by a WHO-led team of international experts. In February and March 2022, WHO conducted a formal evaluation of the authorities and found them to perform well against most of the indicators in the Global Benchmarking Tool.The importance of regulatory oversight for local manufacturingEgypt and Nigeria were also chosen in February 2022 as recipients of mRNA technology from the WHO mRNA Technology Transfer Hub. Effective and efficient regulatory oversight is critical to efforts to boost manufacturing capacity as they ensure that medical products entering the market are safe, effective and produced according to international quality standards.“Egypt and Nigeria have come a long way to improve their regulatory work and performance,” said Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant Director General for Access to Health Products. “Given that medical products regulatory oversight and manufacturing must work in tandem, this is very good news for access to quality health products on the African continent.”Regulation of medical products is extremely important for all health systems and for access to quality vaccines, medicines and other health products. Apart from ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of medical products, regulatory authorities that function well also perform critical functions such as faster authorization of products and safety monitoring after authorization.Fewer than 30% of the world’s regulatory authorities are considered fully functioning and operational. For that reason, WHO has intensified efforts to bolster the capacity to regulate medical products in all regions.WHO listed authoritiesWHO today also announced a transitional WHO-Listed Authorities (WLAs) list. The introduction of a framework for designating and publicly listing a regulatory authority as a WLA aims to provide a transparent and evidence-based pathway for regulatory authorities to be globally recognized as meeting and applying WHO and other internationally recognized standards and guidelines, as well as good regulatory practices.The designation of a regulatory authority as a WLA is intended to promote access and the supply of safe, effective and quality medical products. It also encourages the optimal use of limited resources by facilitating reliance on the work and decisions of mature and advanced agencies in the decision-making of other regulatory authorities, the WHO Prequalification Programme, and procurement bodies.The transitional WLA combines pre-existing lists of Stringent Regulatory Authorities for medicines, highly performing regulatory authorities for vaccines, Regional Reference Authorities for medicines and vaccines in the Americas (AMRO/PAHO), national regulatory authorities operating at maturity levels 3 and 4, and vaccine producing countries with functional regulatory authorities. The WHO Listed Authorities framework will come into full effect pending successful pilots later this year.