This document is intended to help guide the public health response to COVID-19 at national and subnational levels, and to update the global strategy to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This document complements, and provides links to, the technical guidance published by WHO on preparing for and responding to COVID-19 since the beginning of the response. It translates knowledge accumulated since the publication of the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP)1 on 3 February 2020, into additional practical guidance for whole-of-government and whole-of-society strategic action that can be adapted according to specific national and subnational situations and capacities.

This strategy update provides guidance for countries preparing for a phased transition from widespread transmission to a steady state of low-level or no transmission. This update also highlights the coordinated support that is required from the international community to meet the challenge of COVID‑19: it complements plans (including the Global Humanitarian Response Plan)2 that specifically address the issues of COVID‑19 response in humanitarian and fragile settings, and plans currently under development that will address the broader social and economic impacts of COVID‑19.

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