WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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15-Jan-2021 00:04:24
As COVID-19 cases spike in Europe, Africa and the Americas, WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “we are collectively not succeeding at breaking the chains of transmission at the community level or within households. We need to close the gap between intent and implementation at the country and individual level because at present there is immense pressure on hospitals and health workers." WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:24
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 JANUARY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / file

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Some countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas are seeing spikes in cases with multiple factors driving transmission risk. This is because we are collectively not succeeding at breaking the chains of transmission at the community level or within households. We need to close the gap between intent and implementation at the country and individual level because at present there is immense pressure on hospitals and health workers."
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The more the virus is suppressed, the less opportunity it has to mutate. We need to be more efficient than the virus and reach excellence in everything we do. There is only one way out of this storm and that is to share the tools we have and commit to use them together."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"This is a defining moment in the pandemic and I was pleased that the Emergency Committee put a major emphasis on rolling out COVID-19 vaccines equitably. Health workers are exhausted, health systems are stretched and we’re seeing supplies of oxygen run dangerously low in some countries. Now is the time we must pull together as common humanity and rollout vaccines to health workers and those at highest risk."
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant Director-General, Access to Medicines and Health Products:
"But the world we live in is not a fair world. Right? And I'm saying this because the Covax Facility is a way for us to reach fairness. And we are going to get there, and we have worked like Dr. Soumya was saying, there are vaccines that are friendlier to the low- and middle-income countries' environment, to the logistics that are needed to ensure coverage and to ensure that the countries can actually use the vaccine to the priority populations and so on. These vaccines are on the way so what we have is a gap in time, when we have the some... Now I think it's 46 countries have started vaccinations and out of this, I think 38 are high-income countries. Covax Facility is there to ensure we can correct the course and make sure that all countries have access to safe and effective vaccines. This is not happening now in January, but it's happening quite soon and we hope to have good news for you on this in February this year. Thank you."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub:
"But there's very good news, of course, because now we have three lines of defense, but we have to use them all. The first line of defense we're starting to roll out is the vaccine that can protect people from getting infected. And then we have diagnostics and we have new rapid diagnostics that work well. They give a second line of defense so you can find the ones who get infected, you can rapidly isolate, rapidly quarantine. And then we have the third line of defense for those people who are infected and get sick, we have dexamethazone, oxygen as Maria lays out all the time. Very, very good clinical pathways, and you can save lives if all of that is applied. But no one part of this works, you have to use all three lines of defense.”
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Prof Didier Houssin, Chair of the Emergency Committee:
"We (the world) are a little bit paralyzed, we are a little bit confused. And clearly the question of travel inside the world, around the world by air, by road, by sea needs to be better perhaps possible and organized. And this is why one of the recommendations of the Committee to WHO was to take a strong lead in order to produce a clear guidance and scientifically based guidance about how best to facilitate and permit the circulation of people in a safe manner."
13. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

As COVID-19 cases spike in Europe, Africa and the Americas with “multiple factors driving transmission risk,” WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “we are collectively not succeeding at breaking the chains of transmission at the community level or within households. We need to close the gap between intent and implementation at the country and individual level because at present there is immense pressure on hospitals and health workers."

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (15 Jan), Dr Tedros said, "the more the virus is suppressed, the less opportunity it has to mutate. We need to be more efficient than the virus and reach excellence in everything we do.”

The WHO chief reiterated, “there is only one way out of this storm and that is to share the tools we have and commit to use them together."

Dr Tedros also said, "this is a defining moment in the pandemic and I was pleased that the Emergency Committee put a major emphasis on rolling out COVID-19 vaccines equitably.”

He continued, “health workers are exhausted, health systems are stretched and we’re seeing supplies of oxygen run dangerously low in some countries,” reiterating that “now is the time we must pull together as common humanity and rollout vaccines to health workers and those at highest risk."

WHO’s Dr Mariângela Simão also briefed the reporters. She said, “the world we live in is not a fair world. Right? And I'm saying this because the Covax Facility is a way for us to reach fairness. And we are going to get there, and we have worked like Dr. Soumya was saying, there are vaccines that are friendlier to the low- and middle-income countries' environment, to the logistics that are needed to ensure coverage and to ensure that the countries can actually use the vaccine to the priority populations and so on.”

She continued, “these vaccines are on the way so what we have is a gap in time, when we have the some... Now I think it's 46 countries have started vaccinations and out of this, I think 38 are high-income countries.”

Dr Mariângela Simão added, “Covax Facility is there to ensure we can correct the course and make sure that all countries have access to safe and effective vaccines. This is not happening now in January, but it's happening quite soon and we hope to have good news for you on this in February this year.”

Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub Dr Bruce Aylward told reporters, “we have three lines of defense, but we have to use them all.”

He explained, “the first line of defense we're starting to roll out is the vaccine that can protect people from getting infected. And then we have diagnostics and we have new rapid diagnostics that work well. They give a second line of defense so you can find the ones who get infected, you can rapidly isolate, rapidly quarantine. And then we have the third line of defense for those people who are infected and get sick, we have dexamethazone, oxygen as Maria lays out all the time. Very, very good clinical pathways, and you can save lives if all of that is applied. But no one part of this works, you have to use all three lines of defense.”

Chair of the Emergency Committee Prof Didier Houssin said, "we (the world) are a little bit paralyzed, we are a little bit confused. And clearly the question of travel inside the world, around the world by air, by road, by sea needs to be better perhaps possible and organized.”

He continued, “this is why one of the recommendations of the Committee to WHO was to take a strong lead in order to produce a clear guidance and scientifically based guidance about how best to facilitate and permit the circulation of people in a safe manner."
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