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COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness caused by a novel human coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, called COVID-19 virus), which causes higher mortality in persons aged ≥60 years and in persons with underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The COVID-19 pandemic represents significant challenges, especially in countries with weaker public health and outbreak response systems, and those countries hosting populations of refugees and displaced persons, and populations living in camps.

UNFPA has been working to raise awareness about population ageing and the need to harness  opportunities, including within the context of the second demographic dividend, and to address its challenges. UNFPA also supports research and data collection and analysis to provide solid evidence for policies and planning, to ensure ageing issues are integrated into national development programmes and strategies.

This regional technical guidance note was developed for the UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office (APRO) and Asia-Pacific Country Offices to provide guidance on older persons, health workers, and caregivers to enable effective support to each member state and to guide engagement with relevant partners in preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 epidemic