WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
01-Mar-2021 00:04:17
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, "it’s encouraging to see health workers in lower-income countries starting to be vaccinated, but it’s regrettable that this comes almost three months after some of the wealthiest countries started their vaccination campaigns.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 04:18
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 01 MARCH 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

1. Tilt down, from ceiling to dais
2. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"It’s encouraging to see health workers in lower-income countries starting to be vaccinated, but it’s regrettable that this comes almost three months after some of the wealthiest countries started their vaccination campaigns. And it’s regrettable that some countries continue to prioritize vaccinating younger, healthier adults at lower risk of disease in their own populations ahead of health workers and older people elsewhere. Countries are not in a race with each other, this is a common race against the virus. We’re not asking countries to put their own people at risk. We’re asking all countries to be part of a global effort to suppress the virus everywhere."
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Our collective goal, everyone's, is to get out of the acute phase of the pandemic as rapidly as possible, to get the pressure off our health care systems, to get our societies open and functioning again like normal, so we aren't wearing masks and physically distant. And to get our economies fully functional again as well. The fastest way to do that, the most efficient way to do that is to ensure we protect our health care workers and we protect our older populations or people with comorbid conditions, which we've talked about multiple times now. That's going to be the fastest way to get out of this epidemic."
6. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization (WHO):
"And there are things countries can do, the high-income countries, they can donate vaccines. They could, after they've finished vaccinating the high-risk groups, provide some proportion of the vaccines they have to the COVAX Facility for distribution in other countries. And they could help with scaling up manufacturing and production capacity. There are many facilities around the world that are probably capable of manufacturing some of these vaccines. What is needed is technology transfer and transfer of know-how."
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"In the past week, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 increased for the first time in 7 weeks. You remember that I reported the virus was on a decline for a consecutive six weeks. But first time in seven weeks, we have a COVID increase. Reported cases increased in four of WHO’s six regions: the Americas, Europe, South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean."
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"It's much better to be in the situation we are now than we were 10 weeks ago when we didn't have vaccines moving around, when we had the disease continuing to rise. So, we're in a much better position than we were, but nothing is guaranteed. I think, as I say, it would be premature to begin talking about dates. We need to look at numbers. We need to focus on what our targets are. We should be targeting getting hospitalizations down to the lowest number possible, targeting getting gets down to the lowest number possible, targeting getting cases down to the lowest number possible. And when we get to those low numbers, we'll be in control and not the virus."
12. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
13. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
14. Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Taking into account that in the absence of universal access to vaccination, there are serious human rights and ethical issues regarding the application of restrictions on travel on that basis. And again, going back to this idea of getting as many people vaccinated as possible."
15. Tilt down, WHO officials at press conference

STORYLINE:

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today (01 Mar) said, "it’s encouraging to see health workers in lower-income countries starting to be vaccinated, but it’s regrettable that this comes almost three months after some of the wealthiest countries started their vaccination campaigns.”

Tedros said it was “regrettable that some countries continue to prioritize vaccinating younger, healthier adults at lower risk of disease in their own populations ahead of health workers and older people elsewhere.”

Bruce Aylward, who is WHO’s Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub, said, the fastest way to “to get out of the acute phase of the pandemic” is to “ensure we protect our health care workers and we protect our older populations or people with comorbid conditions, which we've talked about multiple times now."

WHO’s Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said, high-income countries “can donate vaccines. They could, after they've finished vaccinating the high-risk groups, provide some proportion of the vaccines they have to the COVAX Facility for distribution in other countries.”

Swaminathan said these countries could “help with scaling up manufacturing and production capacity. There are many facilities around the world that are probably capable of manufacturing some of these vaccines. What is needed is technology transfer and transfer of know-how."

WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Mike Ryan said, "it's much better to be in the situation we are now than we were 10 weeks ago when we didn't have vaccines moving around, when we had the disease continuing to rise,” but added that “nothing is guaranteed.”

He said, “we should be targeting getting hospitalizations down to the lowest number possible, targeting getting gets down to the lowest number possible, targeting getting cases down to the lowest number possible. And when we get to those low numbers, we'll be in control and not the virus."

After six consecutive weeks of a global decline, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 has again increased. Reported cases increased in four of WHO’s six regions: the Americas, Europe, South East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean.
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