WHO / COVID -19 UPDATE

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13-Feb-2020 00:03:30
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 advanced team and their Chinese counterparts have now finalized the scope of work and design for the mission. They expect the rest of the international team to start to arrive in China over the weekend. WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 3:20
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 FEBRUARY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme: ““In Hubei province, only a trained medical professional can now classify a suspected case of COVID-19 as a clinically confirmed case on the basis of chest imaging rather than having to have a laboratory confirmation. This allows clinicians to move and report cases more quickly and not having to wait for lab confirmation, ensuring that people get to clinical care more quickly. And also allows public health responses in terms of contact tracing and other important public health measures to be initiated.”
3.Med shot, reporters
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Oliver Morgan, Director, WHO Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment:
“These to our understanding, these are not 13,000 new cases being added. These are a reclassification of suspect cases waiting for testing, but now have been defined as confirmed on their clinical basis alone. So we don't anticipate that there'll be another similar rises day in, day out, but we do anticipate that we'll have now both laboratory confirmed and clinically confirmed cases reported from Hubei. And this is just to reiterate that this is specifically for Hubei province not for all of China. For the rest of China the surveillance case definitions continue as previously, as they have had done previous.”
5.Med shot, reporters
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
“We're trying to relate the virus to the world, the experience that people have with the virus, corona virus disease, and I think that's clear and it's happening in 2019. So I don't think there's any inconsistency. The taxonomy is there to name a virus for virologists just, and the name we have is to name a virus for us and people who are dealing with this in communities around the world.”
7.Med shot, reporters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
“We've got some standard antivirals that have been used in the past and MERS and SARS that are being tried. We've also got some anti-HIV drugs that are been used and tried. So the quicker we find out whether those drugs are having an impact, and that could be in weeks in the way the trials are set up. We could have good information in weeks and accelerating, expanding and standardizing those trials across many sites will give us a larger number of observations and a much stronger indication as to whether those drugs are working. You can imagine being a frontline clinician at the moment, knowing which drug works would be a magical gift at this point, not only for families, but for, for those doctors and nurses treating.”
9.Med shot, reporters
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
“We, WHO, provides policy advice and technical assistance to all countries. This is not about us supporting countries and will support someone, not the others. Our job was to support all countries. What we're trying to identify here are specific countries that have gaps, serious gaps in their laboratory capacity, their capacity to isolate patients, their supplies of PPE their ability to manage the first 100 and the first 1000 cases that we've actually looked at the costs and the investment needed for the first case, the first 100 cases, the first 1000 cases.”
11.Med shot, reporters

STORYLINE:

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 advanced team and their Chinese counterparts have now finalized the scope of work and design for the mission. They expect the rest of the international team to start to arrive in China over the weekend.

According to WHO, in the last 24 hours China has reported 1,820 laboratory-confirmed cases, bringing the total to 46,550. In addition, China reported 13,332 clinically confirmed cases in Hubei province, and crucially, we understand that most of these cases relate to a period going back over days and weeks and are retrospectively reported as cases, sometimes back to the beginning of the outbreak itself.

Michael J Ryan, the Executive Director of WHO told reporters in Geneva, “in Hubei province, only a trained medical professional can now classify a suspected case of COVID-19 as a clinically confirmed case on the basis of chest imaging rather than having to have a laboratory confirmation. This allows clinicians to move and report cases more quickly and not having to wait for lab confirmation, ensuring that people get to clinical care more quickly. And also allows public health responses in terms of contact tracing and other important public health measures to be initiated.”

Also briefing the reporters, WHO’s Dr Oliver Morgan said, “these to our understanding, these are not 13,000 new cases being added. These are a reclassification of suspect cases waiting for testing, but now have been defined as confirmed on their clinical basis alone.”

He continued, “so we don't anticipate that there'll be another similar rises day in, day out, but we do anticipate that we'll have now both laboratory confirmed and clinically confirmed cases reported from Hubei. And this is just to reiterate that this is specifically for Hubei province not for all of China. For the rest of China the surveillance case definitions continue as previously, as they have had done previous.”

Dr Michael J Ryan also said, “we've got some standard antivirals that have been used in the past and MERS and SARS that are being tried. We've also got some anti-HIV drugs that are been used and tried. So the quicker we find out whether those drugs are having an impact, and that could be in weeks in the way the trials are set up.”

Ryan said, “we could have good information in weeks and accelerating, expanding and standardizing those trials across many sites will give us a larger number of observations and a much stronger indication as to whether those drugs are working. You can imagine being a frontline clinician at the moment, knowing which drug works would be a magical gift at this point, not only for families, but for, for those doctors and nurses treating.”

The Executive Director also said, “we, WHO, provides policy advice and technical assistance to all countries. This is not about us supporting countries and will support someone, not the others. Our job was to support all countries.”

He continued, “what we're trying to identify here are specific countries that have gaps, serious gaps in their laboratory capacity, their capacity to isolate patients, their supplies of PPE their ability to manage the first 100 and the first 1000 cases that we've actually looked at the costs and the investment needed for the first case, the first 100 cases, the first 1000 cases.”
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