WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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25-Jan-2021 00:04:01
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros said, "a year ago today, fewer than 1,500 cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, including just 23 cases outside China. This week, we expect to reach 100 million reported cases." WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:01
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 JANUARY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"A year ago today, fewer than 1 thousand 500 cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, including just 23 cases outside China. This week, we expect to reach 100 million reported cases."
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Last week, I said that the world stood on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure if it doesn’t deliver equitable access to vaccines. Two new studies show that it wouldn’t just be a moral failure, it would be an economic failure."
5.Wide shot, press briefing room
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Ṣebnem Kalemli-Özcan, Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland:
"Even if you achieve universal vaccination in advanced economies, meaning your restaurants are open, your life back to normal, right? Your services sectors are going to work fine. You are going to have a huge hit in your tradable sector. And then, because advanced economies are very large and very connected to global trade and global production networks, they are going to, you know, feel not only this hit, as Dr. Tedros mentioned, they are going to, in the worst case scenario, bear half of this global cost, even if they may manage to vaccinate all their citizens."
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) John Denton, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce:
"So, if you actually want to actually fix your own economy, you're actually going to have to get involved in fixing the global economy. And part of that is ensuring that a global vaccines flood globally and equitably, this is not an act of charity. This is economic common sense. If you want to ensure that the trillions and hundreds of billions that you are spending on domestic stimulus is actually more than ephemeral, you need to ensure it's durable. It can only be durable if you actually also support access to vaccines and vaccinations and therapeutics in the developing world as well, across the globe, and equitable access there."
9.Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan EXD, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"Remember we've only ever eradicated one disease on this planet: smallpox. And we're struggling against polio and we're struggling to eliminate measles. So the availability of a vaccine, the availability of the will to eradicate or eliminate does not guarantee success. So I don't believe we should start setting elimination or eradication of this virus as the bar for success. That is not the bar for success. The bar for success is reducing the capacity of this virus to kill, to put people in hospital, to destroy our economic and social lives. We have to reach a point where we're in control of the virus."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub
"The real goal of vaccination this year is to take the heat out of this epidemic or this pandemic, like Mike said, to reduce the human toll in terms of deaths and severe disease. And that comes back to the theme you're hearing again and again, and again, we can only do that if there are sufficient let's say equitable allocation of these products in a way that those populations at highest risk get reached everywhere."
13. Wide shot, press briefing room
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan EXD, WHO Health Emergencies Programme (speaking about vaccinating athletes ahead of the Olympic Games):
"We face a crisis now on a global scale that requires frontline health workers, those older people and those most vulnerable in our societies to access vaccine first. That doesn't in any way negate the desire or the will to have the Olympics and come together and celebrate a wonderful global sporting event where all countries come together to share that. What a wonderful symbol those games are for our shared humanity. However, we have to face the realities of what we face now. There is not enough vaccine right now to even serve those who are most at risk."
15. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros said, "a year ago today (25 Jan), fewer than 1 500 cases of COVID-19 had been reported to WHO, including just 23 cases outside China. This week, we expect to reach 100 million reported cases."

Speaking at a press conference, Dr Tedros said "last week, I said that the world stood on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure if it doesn’t deliver equitable access to vaccines. Two new studies show that it wouldn’t just be a moral failure, it would be an economic failure."

Ṣebnem Kalemli-Özcan, Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland spoke to the reporters via a video link. She said, "even if you achieve universal vaccination in advanced economies, meaning your restaurants are open, your life back to normal, right? Your services sectors are going to work fine. You are going to have a huge hit in your tradable sector. And then, because advanced economies are very large and very connected to global trade and global production networks, they are going to, you know, feel not only this hit, as
Dr. Tedros mentioned, they are going to, in the worst case scenario, bear half of this global cost, even if they may manage to vaccinate all their citizens."

John Denton, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce was also at the briefing. He told reporters via a video link that ensuring vaccines flood globally and equitably is “not an act of charity,” but an “economic common sense.”

He continued, “if you want to ensure that the trillions and hundreds of billions that you are spending on domestic stimulus is actually more than ephemeral, you need to ensure it's durable. It can only be durable if you actually also support access to vaccines and vaccinations and therapeutics in the developing world as well, across the globe, and equitable access there."

WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan EXD told reporters, "remember we've only ever eradicated one disease on this planet: smallpox. And we're struggling against polio and we're struggling to eliminate measles. So the availability of a vaccine, the availability of the will to eradicate or eliminate does not guarantee success.”

He continued, “so I don't believe we should start setting elimination or eradication of this virus as the bar for success. That is not the bar for success. The bar for success is reducing the capacity of this virus to kill, to put people in hospital, to destroy our economic and social lives. We have to reach a point where we're in control of the virus."

Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General said, "the real goal of vaccination this year is to take the heat out of this epidemic or this pandemic, like Mike said, to reduce the human toll in terms of deaths and severe disease.”

He added, “and that comes back to the theme you're hearing again and again, and again, we can only do that if there are sufficient let's say equitable allocation of these products in a way that those populations at highest risk get reached everywhere."

Speaking about vaccinating athletes ahead of the Olympic Games, WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan said, "we face a crisis now on a global scale that requires frontline health workers, those older people and those most vulnerable in our societies to access vaccine first. That doesn't in any way negate the desire or the will to have the Olympics and come together and celebrate a wonderful global sporting event where all countries come together to share that. What a wonderful symbol those games are for our shared humanity. However, we have to face the realities of what we face now. There is not enough vaccine right now to even serve those who are most at risk."
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