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    Comparing Policy Responses to COVID-19 among Countries in the Latin American and Caribbean Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12-16) Allin, S. ; Haldane, V. ; Jamieson, M. ; Marchildon, G. ; Morales Vazquez, M. ; Roerig, M.
    Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) accounts for over a quarter of the world's total cases, and a third of the total deaths, from the COVID-19 pandemic (1-3) (4). In the absence of a vaccine to prevent the transmission of the virus, LAC countries have introduced several public health, health system, and economic policies to reduce the spread and impacts of COVID-19 (4,5). However, contextual factors such as fragmented health systems, limited social safety nets, and high levels of informal employment and inequality have further challenged the response to the pandemic in many of these countries (4,6,7). Furthermore, these underlying conditions intensify the impact of COVID-19, particularly for the most disadvantaged, including the unemployed, informal, and low-income workers, many of whom live in overcrowded households (4,7). In this study, we aim to describe policy interventions in 10 LAC countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to compare these responses based on the experiences in two relatively high-performing jurisdictions, South Korea and Uruguay, and to support cross-jurisdictional policy learning for pandemic preparedness in the LAC region through knowledge exchange activities.
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    Case Study on the Role of Primary Health Care in the SARS COV-2 Pandemic in Colombia: Initial Phase - Period of 11th of March to May 31st, 2020
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) World Bank Group
    The reforms of the Colombian Health System in the last decade have sought to position primary health care (PHC) as an essential strategy to guarantee integrated and comprehensive care of the population’s health needs. The Primary Health Care approach includes three integrated, interdependent components: health services, intersectoriality, and social participation in terms of empowering individuals, families and communities to take charge of their own health. Within this conceptual framework, Colombia has tackled the SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic formally announcedby the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. This report examines the role of PHC in Colombia›s preparation for, response to, and recovery from the pandemic. The main features of the pandemic affecting the country are described first, followed by observations stemming from analysis of the regulatory component, the healthcare services delivered, and the role of public health communication and surveillance. The report ends with conclusions on the analysis.
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    Protecting People and Economies: Integrated Policy Responses to COVID-19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05) World Bank
    The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a global health emergency and an unprecedented economic crisis of historic magnitude. Governments facing this threat are in uncharted territory, but three policy priorities addressed in this note are clear. Disease containment is a first-order concern to combat the pandemic, and measures such as testing and tracing, coupled with isolating and treating the infected can bring first-order gains. The economic crisis requires a parallel and simultaneous effort to save jobs, protect income, and ensure access to services for vulnerable populations. As governments act to slow the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods now, they will need to maintain macro stability, continue to build trust, and communicate clearly to avoid deeper downturns and social unrest. Looking forward, this crisis can be an opportunity to rethink policy to build back with stronger systems for people and economies.