COVID-19 response

Our Centre members and researchers at the School are working to respond quickly and effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although modelling predictions suggest that uncontrolled or even partially mitigated COVID-19 epidemics in high-income countries could lead to substantial excess mortality, the virus’ impact on people living in low-income settings or affected by humanitarian crises could potentially be even more severe.

Guidance documents

Considerations for planning COVID-19 case management services in humanitarian responses

Providing COVID-19 case management services in crisis settings will likely entail complex trade-offs between offering services of clinical benefit and minimising risks of nosocomial infection, while allocating resources appropriately and safeguarding other essential services. This new paper explores case management options and measures to reduce nosocomial transmission, while suggesting key decision-making considerations and key indicators for monitoring case management services.

Read the full paper here

Considerations for COVID-19 surveillance in humanitarian settings

This paper proposes that appropriate and effective surveillance for control of COVID-19 in humanitarian settings can be achieved by improving existing surveillance systems, and adding high-yield surveillance activities. It describes practical ways to optimise existing systems to enable COVID-19 surveillance, and demonstrates ways in which incidence, severity and mortality data can be used to infer information about the epidemic and the population’s response. 

Read the full paper here.

The shielding approach aims at protecting those most vulnerable from SARS-CoV-2 infection by helping them to live in dignity, safely and separately from the general population. The ultimate goal of this approach is to reduce the excess mortality attributable to COVID-19 while relieving some of the pressure on the health system. 

Watch our clips explaining the shielding approach here - available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish & Swahili.  


Shielding infographic


Shielding: In camps and camp-like settings

English - Download guidance here

Français - Download guidance here

Español - Download guidance here

Arabic - Download guidance here

Shielding: In urban settings

English - Download guidance here

Français - Download guidance here

Español - Download guidance here

Arabic - Download guidance here

FAQ Shielding Approach

Download document here

Shielding: M&E protocol

This protocol outlines a set of methods, procedures, and tools for the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of a shielding intervention in terms of its impact on reducing infection and mortality among shielded persons, how these effects are achieved, and the feasibility of its implementation from the perspective of stakeholders, communities and beneficiaries.

Download document here

If you would like an editable version to modify for your context, please contact

Shielding Working Group: Situation Updates

The shielding working group aims to facilitate exchange of experiences and discussion around the operationalisation of shielding in humanitarian settings. The group will publish a monthly situation update to report on the integration of the shielding approach in humanitarian responses. The first situation update was released in August. 

Situation Update: October 2020

Situation Update: August 2020

COVID messages for Syrian Communities - Arabic

Download content here

COVID messages for Syrian Communities - Kurdish

Download content here

Responding to COVID-19 in Africa (PERC)

Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 (PERC) is a partnership that supports evidence-based measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on African Union Member States.

It collects social, economic, epidemiological, population movement, and security data to help determine the acceptability, impact and effectiveness of public health and social measures for COVID-19.


Modelling Covid-19


Read Yemen Modelling report

In this analysis, we aim to understand different scenarios of past infection in Yemen. To do this, we incorporate five datasets: Google mobility data, ECDC COVID-19 surveillance data, public health social measures data collected by WHO, and more detailed case data shared by WHO Yemen. We estimate that school closures and mobility changes did slightly mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Yemen. Moreover, relative disease severity for the age group 30 – 49 years compared to the age group 60+ years is higher in Yemen than those assumed in the previous modelling work.


COVID-19 & Humanitarian Settings: Knowledge & Experience Sharing Webinar Series

Join the READY initiative, the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, and the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for a webinar series on COVID-19 and humanitarian settings.

Webinars ran between April 2020 - July 2020 and then again between 14 October 2020 - January 2021, examining some of the more controversial topics surrounding the COVID humanitarian response. This included: 

  • 14 October: “Why is COVID-19 NOT transmitting in humanitarian settings as expected…or is it?”
  • 11 November: “Which health services in humanitarian settings should we NOT provide during COVID-19?”
  • 9 December: “Will the COVID-19 vaccine EVER reach forcibly displaced populations?”
  • 13 December: "What is the ROLE of humanitarian NGOs in the COVID-19 pandemic?”

Platforms & hubs

COVID-19 Humanitarian Platform

Jointly hosted by LSHTM, CERAH & Johns Hopkins, this platform provides context-specific guidance & field insights into dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic - access it here.

COVID-19 Hygiene Hub

The COVID-19 Hygiene Hub is a free service to help actors in low- and middle-income countries rapidly share, design, and adapt evidence-based hygiene interventions to combat COVID-19 - access it here.

This initiative was developed by individuals from LSHTM, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), and the Wash’Em team.

Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP)

An LSHTM initiative, in partnership between IDS and Anthrologica. With a dedicated COVID-19 section, SSHAP aims to establish networks of social scientists with regional and subject expertise to rapidly provide insight, analysis and advice, tailored to demand and in accessible forms, to better design and implement the social and communication dimensions of emergency response. 

Become a member & download the resources here.


Responding to COVID-19: Guidance for humanitarian agencies

How should humanitarian organisations prepare and respond to COVID-19 in humanitarian settings in low- and middle-income countries?

This Rapid Learning Review outlines 14 actions, insights and ideas for humanitarian actors to consider in their COVID-19 responses. It summarises and synthesises the best available knowledge and guidance for developing a health response to COVID-19 in low- and middle-income settings as at April 2020

The paper, supported by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, will be updated throughout 2020 to reflect emerging knowledge and evidence on the most effective approaches to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For all COVID-19 related news, guidance, courses, and action on the ground from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine