UN / PREVENTING NEXT PANDEMIC

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06-Jul-2020 00:01:59
Launching a new report on zoonotic diseases, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, said, “we were warned that the current pandemic was not a matter of if but when. And it is a human failing that we predict, but we do not prepare.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / PREVENTING NEXT PANDEMIC
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DATELINE: 06 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Tilt up, United Nations Headquarters

06 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP):
“We were warned that the current pandemic was not a matter of if but when. And it is a human failing that we predict, but we do not prepare. So, now, we must become more proactive to avoid another pandemic. And we must address zoonotic diseases. This means recognizing that they are inextricably linked. Human health, animal health, and planetary health, that these three cannot be separated.”

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

3. Wide shot, United Nations flag

06 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP):
“COVID-19 is, as we all know, one of the worst zoonotic diseases in terms of its rapidity with which it spreads. But it is not the first zoonotic disease, we also all know that. Ebola, SARS, MERS, HIV, Lyme disease, Rift Valley fever, Lhasa fever, are just a few that had preceded it. In the last century, in fact, we have seen around six major outbreaks of novel coronaviruses, and 60 percent of known infectious diseases, and 75 percent of new emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in nature, i.e. they are derived from the animal world.”

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

5. Wide shot, United Nations flag

06 JULY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jimmy Smith, Director of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI):
“The key thing to understand about diseases like COVID-19, is that they do not emerge out of nowhere. They are not unpredictable events like earthquakes or asteroid hits. Instead, they are predictable consequences of the ever-intensifying interactions among humans, animals and the natural world. The bad news is that these interactions are increasing for many reasons; population growth, income growth, greater urbanization, and spreading human encroachment on the natural world.”

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

7. Wide shot, United Nations flag

STORYLINE:

Launching a new report on zoonotic diseases, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, today (6 Jul) said, “we were warned that the current pandemic was not a matter of if but when. And it is a human failing that we predict, but we do not prepare.”

Andersen said, “we must become more proactive to avoid another pandemic. And we must address zoonotic diseases. This means recognizing that they are inextricably linked. Human health, animal health, and planetary health, that these three cannot be separated.”

The UNEP official said, “COVID-19 is, as we all know, one of the worst zoonotic diseases in terms of its rapidity with which it spreads. But it is not the first zoonotic disease, we also all know that. Ebola, SARS, MERS, HIV, Lyme disease, Rift Valley fever, Lhasa fever, are just a few that had preceded it.

In the last century, she said, “we have seen around six major outbreaks of novel coronaviruses, and 60 percent of known infectious diseases, and 75 percent of new emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in nature, i.e. they are derived from the animal world.”

Joining Andersen, the Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Jimmy Smith, said diseases like COVID-19 “do not emerge out of nowhere. They are not unpredictable events like earthquakes or asteroid hits. Instead, they are predictable consequences of the ever-intensifying interactions among humans, animals and the natural world.”

Smith said, “these interactions are increasing for many reasons; population growth, income growth, greater urbanization, and spreading human encroachment on the natural world.”

The report, Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic Diseases and How to Break the Chain of Transmission, identifies seven trends driving the increasing emergence of zoonotic diseases - those which jump between animal and human populations - and offers ten practical steps that governments can take to prevent future zoonotic outbreaks.

The authors warn that further outbreaks will emerge unless governments take active measures to prevent more zoonotic diseases from crossing into the human population, and advocate for a One Health approach to human, animal and environmental health as the optimal way to prevent and respond to zoonotic disease outbreaks and pandemics.
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