WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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18-Feb-2021 00:04:56
WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “the world is moving closer to delivering the promise of vaccine equity.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:56
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 FEBRUARY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The world is moving closer to delivering the promise of vaccine equity. Vaccine equity will be on the agenda at both the G7 leaders meeting and the Munich Security Conference tomorrow. Tomorrow, WHO will also launch a new declaration focused on vaccine equity and I have been encouraged by the support we have received from hundreds of organizations and thousands of people."
3.Wide shot, press briefing room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago:
"Our history as people is littered with instances of destructive behaviour, disrespectful dominance, imbalances and other forms of man’s inhumanity to man but on this rare occasion when we are all yoked to an invisible destroyer it is my hope and plea that when the journal of this experience is written it would deviate from what is mostly the norm and record that, on this occasion, the rich took care of the poor and the small and impecunious were not trampled with disdain by those who could have done so simply because they had the wherewithal to do it."
5.Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago:
"All we ask as members of the family of nations is that we not be forgotten, ignored or worse, taken advantage of in this business of life and death."
7.Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"If some countries prefer to give their donations (of COVID-19 vaccines) to certain countries because they are their neighbours or because they have some relationship. What we can do is if this comes through the COVAX, the earmarked donation can go to those countries, then the COVAX stock could go to other countries. So, we can strike a balance."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Peter Ben Embarek, International Team Lead of the WHO Global Study of the origins of SARS-CoV-2:
"The frozen food issue is a little bit complicated because here we are talking about two very different situations. The first one is the possibility of reintroduction of the virus through the frozen food chain and through imported products back into China, where the virus has been more or less eliminated. So that's a situation for 2020-2021, where the virus is widely circulated in the world and where we know that there are multiple outbreaks in food factories in countries where the virus is circulating. So, that's one line of interest, particularly for China and other countries in the similar situation. It's a very, very rare event. Even China, through their extensive search for positive contaminated products through the food chain supply, have found only very few positive cases of contaminated products. Now for 2019, where we are focusing on the origin of the virus, this is a very different situation. At that time, the virus was not widely circulating in the world. There were no large outbreaks in food factories around the world. And therefore the hypothesis or the idea of importing the virus to China through that route is not something that we are looking at. We are focusing on the Huanan market in Wuhan in December 2019, where a lot of frozen products were traded in that market. And there we are focusing on the trade, local trade of frozen, farmed wild animals being farmed and produced, in particular in southern China. So this is a very different line, possible line of introduction of the virus into the market environment in Huanan. And that's a very different focus compared to the discussion about international trade of frozen products. Thank you."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michel Yao, WHO Director of Strategic Health Operations (speaking about Ebola cases in Guinea):
"We have an effective vaccine, therapeutics, but at least from the preliminary lab analysis, they could be the same strain (Ebola Zaire). So these tools could be effective, as we are speaking of various vaccines on their way to Guinea. So vaccination will start soon with mainly health workers, as well as high risk contacts. In the DRC also, vaccination has started."
13. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “the world is moving closer to delivering the promise of vaccine equity.”

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (18 Feb), Dr Tedros said that vaccine equity will be on the agenda at both the G7 leaders meeting and the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

He also noted that tomorrow, WHO will also launch a new declaration focused on vaccine equity, saying that he has been “encouraged by the support we have received from hundreds of organizations and thousands of people."

Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago also spoke to the reporters. He said, "our history as people is littered with instances of destructive behavior, disrespectful dominance, imbalances and other forms of man’s inhumanity to man but on this rare occasion when we are all yoked to an invisible destroyer.”

The Prime Minister continued, “it is my hope and plea that when the journal of this experience is written it would deviate from what is mostly the norm and record that, on this occasion, the rich took care of the poor and the small and impecunious were not trampled with disdain by those who could have done so simply because they had the wherewithal to do it."

He also said, "all we ask as members of the family of nations is that we not be forgotten, ignored or worse, taken advantage of in this business of life and death."

Dr Tedros also said, "if some countries prefer to give their donations (of COVID-19 vaccines) to certain countries because they are their neighbours or because they have some relationship. What we can do is if this comes through the COVAX, the earmarked donation can go to those countries, then the COVAX stock could go to other countries. So, we can strike a balance."

WHO’s Dr Peter Ben Embarek told reporters, "the frozen food issue is a little bit complicated because here we are talking about two very different situations.”

He explained, “the first one is the possibility of reintroduction of the virus through the frozen food chain and through imported products back into China, where the virus has been more or less eliminated. So that's a situation for 2020-2021, where the virus is widely circulated in the world and where we know that there are multiple outbreaks in food factories in countries where the virus is circulating.”

Embarek continued, “that's one line of interest, particularly for China and other countries in the similar situation. It's a very, very rare event. Even China, through their extensive search for positive contaminated products through the food chain supply, have found only very few positive cases of contaminated products.”

He also said, “now for 2019, where we are focusing on the origin of the virus, this is a very different situation. At that time, the virus was not widely circulating in the world. There were no large outbreaks in food factories around the world. And therefore the hypothesis or the idea of importing the virus to China through that route is not something that we are looking at.”

Embarek continued, “we are focusing on the Huanan market in Wuhan in December 2019, where a lot of frozen products were traded in that market. And there we are focusing on the trade, local trade of frozen, farmed wild animals being farmed and produced, in particular in southern China. So this is a very different line, possible line of introduction of the virus into the market environment in Huanan. And that's a very different focus compared to the discussion about international trade of frozen products. Thank you."
Dr Michel Yao, WHO’s Director of Strategic Health Operations spoke about Ebola cases in Guinea.

He said, “we have an effective vaccine, therapeutics, but at least from the preliminary lab analysis, they could be the same strain (Ebola Zaire). So these tools could be effective, as we are speaking of various vaccines on their way to Guinea. So vaccination will start soon with mainly health workers, as well as high risk contacts. In the DRC also, vaccination has started."
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