A year of a pandemic: our response to COVID-19 in pictures

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic. Since January 2020, MSF teams around the world have been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, in both countries where we’ve previously worked, and those we haven’t had to work in before. Meanwhile, we have also ensured people still continue to have access to healthcare.

Over the course of a year of a pandemic, MSF teams have worked hard in response in over 80 countries; here’s our work in pictures.

Find out more on how we’re responding to the pandemic.

MSF donates 3.5 tonnes of personal protective equipment to health workers at the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. Wuhan, China, February 2020. Photo: MSF
MSF staff undertake awareness-raising sessions on COVID-19 for groups of vulnerable people, including refugees and socio-economically disadvantaged people. Hong Kong, February 2020. Photo: MSF
MSF teams identify potential COVID-19 cases and evaluate the health of 700 people who were evacuated from a camp in Aubervilliers, near Paris, to various emergency shelters. France, March 2020. Photo: AGNES VARRAINE-LECA/MSF
An elderly man watches as an MSF staff member disinfect his room in the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes nursing home residence in El Royo, Soria province. Spain, April 2020. Photo: OLMO CALVO/MSF
Nafisatou, an MSF health promoter in Niono, shows a group of young girls who to wash their hands properly to protect themselves from COVID-19. Mali, May 2020. Photo: MSF/LAMINE KEITA
In the Amazonas Forest, some communities are best reached by boat. A combined team of local and MSF health workers unpack their equipment carry out routine screening from house to house. Brazil, July 2020. Photo: DIEGO BARAVELLI
South Africa – An MSF health worker prepares to swab a patient for a coronavirus test during a mass COVID-19 screening and testing event held in Johannesburg. May 2020. Photo: TADEU ANDRE/MSF
Belgium – Julie (left), a former MSF field nurse and now volunteering with MSF, and Houria, an MSF health promoter, get dressed in protective equipment before entering into the patient area of the COVID-19 treatment facility for vulnerable people in the Tour & Taxis area of Brussels. May 2020. Photo: ALBERT MASIAS/MSF
Switzerland – MSF staff meet beneficiaries of a local food distribution caravan for vulnerable people in Geneva, and survey them anonymously about their needs. May 2020. Photo: MSF/NORA TEYLOUNI
Kenya – Faith Njeri Kariuki, an emergency medical technician at MSF’s medical care and trauma room centre, Lavender House – checking the vitals of a patient. Nairobi, May 2020. Photo: PAUL ODONGO/MSF
Ukraine – An MSF mobile team collects samples from healthcare workers to test for COVID-19, at Krasnohorivka hospital, in eastern Ukraine. May 2020. Photo: KATERINA STEPANINA/MSF
Belgium – People who are at risk of social exclusion risk – those who are homeless, migrants and asylum seekers – line up to receive food and hygiene kits distributed by MSF, the Belgian Red Cross and local organisation Plateforme Citoyenne. MSF teams are supporting the distribution and a health promotion team raises awareness about hygiene and water and sanitation measures. April 2020. Photo: MSF
Italy – An MSF staff member shares a thumbs up with the resident of a nursing home in the country’s central eastern Marche region, where our staff are providing medical care and implementing infection prevention and control measures. April 2020. Photo: MSF/VINCENZO LIVIERI
Liberia – An MSF staff member hands out soap and information leaflets on how to prevent COVID-19 to households in Logan Town, near the capital city, Monrovia. April 2020. Photo: RUUD VAN DER LINDEN/MSF
South Sudan – Water and sanitation coordinator Adrien Mahama illustrates the correct use of masks during an infection prevention and control training for the staff of the Al-Sabah hospital in Juba. MSF is conducting training to support the Ministry of Health in preparation for the arrival of COVID-19 patients. April 2020. Photo: GABRIELE FRANÇOIS CASINI/MSF
MSF staff prepares a COVID-19 facility on the island of Lesbos, near the refugee camp of Moria, to be ready for an outbreak of the disease amongst these very vulnerable people. Greece, May 2020. Photo: ANNA PANTELIA/MSF
Workers at Al-Sahul COVID-19 treatment centre, Ibb governorate, carry an oxygen cylinder to the intensive care unit. A patient with moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms needs around six cylinders a day and any interruption in the provision of oxygen can be deadly. Yemen, July 2020. Photo: MSF/MAJD ALJUNAID
MSF nurse Norrulah Nasrat collects a sample from Mohammadin, a COVID-19 suspected patient, in MSF’s COVID-19 Treatment Centre in Herat. Afghanistan, January 2021. Photo: WASEEM MUHAMMADI/MSF
In the intensive care unit of Geneva’s university hospital, where MSF supported the medical response to COVID-19. The focus was on managing patients with the new coronavirus and organising medical teams and services in the hospital. Switzerland, April 2020. Photo: NORA TEYLOUNI/MSF
Dr Helene Muller and nurse Buhle Nkomonde have both worked with MSF in Khayelitsha and in Mbongolwane, in South Africa. In Khayelitsha, in Cape Town, they worked in MF’s COVID-19 field hospital; in Mbongolwane in KwaZulu-Natal, they helped with screening and testing for the District Hospital. South Africa, August 2020. Photo: CHRIS ALLAN
France – An MSF nurse assesses a local woman for a possible case of coronavirus at a support centre in north Marseille, where there is a lack of testing and referral centres. April 2020. Photo: CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU/MSF
A resident at Focused Care at Beechnut, a long-term care facility in Houston in the USA, is visited by family for her birthday. The family must stand outside, on the other side of a window, and communicate by phone with the resident. MSF conducted infection prevention and control training and mental health and wellness training at Beechnut and other nursing homes in Houston. United States, September 2020. Photo: CHRISTOPHER LEE
Pakistan – An MSF health promoter advises people to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between each other and to wash their hands at the handwashing points as they enter Timergara DHQ hospital, in Lower Dir district. MSF staff installed a COVID-19 screening point at the entrance to the hospital, in Pakistan’s north, through which about 1,000 people pass every day. April 2020. Photo: NASIR GHAFOOR
MSF staff speak with a patient in a medical facility we’ve set-up for homeless people to isolate if they have COVID-19 or are at high risk of being infected. Brussels, Belgium, November 2020. Photo: ALBERT MASIAS/MSF
An elderly woman with COVID-19 receives oxygen therapy in COVID-19 centre at Al-Kindi Hospital in Baghdad. MSF nurses check on the patient and explain to her daughter her condition. Iraq, February 2021. Photo: HASSAN KAMAL AL-DEEN/MSF

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