WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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01-Apr-2021 00:03:57
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “pleased that more leaders are now joining the call for a pandemic treaty, which would be a generational commitment to keeping the world safe.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 3:57
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 01 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room

01 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"I am pleased that more leaders are now joining the call for a pandemic treaty, which would be a generational commitment to keeping the world safe. There will always be new pathogens with pandemic potential. It’s not a matter of if but when."
3.Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General
"Health and care workers are at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and they play the critical role in protecting us all. Far too many health and care workers have died in the pandemic, millions have been infected and the pandemic has taken a huge toll on their physical and mental health with devastating effects on their families and communities. Anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress have all increased; exhaustion is commonplace and there have been cases of stigma and even abuse. I give thanks to those that have stood up in one of humanity’s toughest periods."
5.Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"There is still a serious challenge on vaccine equity and availability. Last week, I made an urgent request to countries, with doses of vaccines that have WHO Emergency Use Listing, to share 10 million doses immediately with COVAX. The extra 10 million doses would be an urgent stop-gap measure so that 20 countries, which are ready but haven’t got the supply needed to start vaccinating their health workers and older people, could begin before the hundredth day – 10 April. I also requested manufacturers to help ensure that the countries that step up can rapidly donate those doses. This challenge has been heard but we’re yet to receive commitments for these doses."
7.Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"I know this is a challenging time for many countries as cases and hospitalisations are spiking. But conversely, it’s when cases are spiking that it’s the most important time to share vaccines equitably and protect health workers and at-risk communities. The race is on to get vaccines to those places and groups where they can have the greatest impact."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical lead, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"Indeed, there is a very serious situation going on in Brazil right now where we have a number of states that are in critical condition. I understand that the Brazilian Ministry of Health has stated that six states are in critical condition.And nationwide, the hospitals are overwhelmed with most issues that over 90 percent capacity. And we're aware of a recent survey that was carried out by the National Council of Health secretaries, finding that more than 6000 people were waiting for an ICU bed, 6000 people with COVID-19 waiting for an ICU bed. So indeed, there is a critical situation there. The challenges are many in terms of increased transmissibility with this P.1 variant that has been detected that is circulating in the country. If you have increased transmission or a more transmissible virus, you will have more cases, which can overwhelm a health system that is that is already overwhelmed."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “pleased that more leaders are now joining the call for a pandemic treaty, which would be a generational commitment to keeping the world safe.”

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (01 Apr), Dr Tedros said, "health and care workers are at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and they play the critical role in protecting us all.”

He added, “far too many health and care workers have died in the pandemic, millions have been infected and the pandemic has taken a huge toll on their physical and mental health with devastating effects on their families and communities. Anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress have all increased; exhaustion is commonplace and there have been cases of stigma and even abuse. I give thanks to those that have stood up in one of humanity’s toughest periods."

Dr Tedros also said, "there is still a serious challenge on vaccine equity and availability. Last week, I made an urgent request to countries, with doses of vaccines that have WHO Emergency Use Listing, to share 10 million doses immediately with COVAX. The extra 10 million doses would be an urgent stop-gap measure so that 20 countries, which are ready but haven’t got the supply needed to start vaccinating their health workers and older people, could begin before the hundredth day – 10 April.”

He continued, “I also requested manufacturers to help ensure that the countries that step up can rapidly donate those doses. This challenge has been heard but we’re yet to receive commitments for these doses."

The Director-General also said, "I know this is a challenging time for many countries as cases and hospitalisations are spiking. But conversely, it’s when cases are spiking that it’s the most important time to share vaccines equitably and protect health workers and at-risk communities. The race is on to get vaccines to those places and groups where they can have the greatest impact."

WHO’s Dr Maria Van Kerkhove told reporters, "indeed, there is a very serious situation going on in Brazil right now where we have a number of states that are in critical condition. I understand that the Brazilian Ministry of Health has stated that six states are in critical condition.And nationwide, the hospitals are overwhelmed with most issues that over 90 percent capacity. And we're aware of a recent survey that was carried out by the National Council of Health secretaries, finding that more than 6000 people were waiting for an ICU bed, 6000 people with COVID-19 waiting for an ICU bed.

She added, “so indeed, there is a critical situation there. The challenges are many in terms of increased transmissibility with this P.1 variant that has been detected that is circulating in the country. If you have increased transmission or a more transmissible virus, you will have more cases, which can overwhelm a health system that is that is already overwhelmed."
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