WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE GRETA THUNBERG

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19-Apr-2021 00:05:48
Climate activist Greta Thunberg will donate 100,000 Euros (120,000 USD) via her foundation, to the WHO Foundation, in support of COVAX to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the global effort to ensure equitable access of vaccines to the most at-risk in all countries, including health workers, older people and those with underlying conditions. WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE GRETA THUNBERG
TRT: 5:48
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, WHO emblem outside headquarters

19 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Last week, new cases of COVID-19 increased for the eighth week in a row, with more than 5.2 million cases reported - the most in a single week so far. Deaths rose for the fifth straight week, and more than 3 million deaths have now been reported to WHO. It took 9 months to reach 1 million deaths; 4 months to reach 2 million, and 3 months to reach 3 million. Big numbers can make us numb. But each one of these deaths is a tragedy for families, communities and nations. Infections and hospitalizations among people aged 25 to 59 are increasing at an alarming rate, possibly as a result of highly transmissible variants and increased social mixing among younger adults.”
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably. On Friday, WHO issued an expression of interest for establishing a COVID-19 technology transfer hub for mRNA vaccines, to increase production of those vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. We are calling for the original manufacturers of mRNA vaccines to contribute their technology and know-how, and for manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to express interest in receiving that technology. We have seen incredible innovation in science; now we need innovation to ensure as many people as possible benefit from that science."
6. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The health argument for climate action is crystal clear. The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people. There’s no vaccine for climate change, but we do have solutions.”
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Greta Thunberg, Climate and Environmental Activist:
“We can no longer separate the health crisis from the ecological crisis, and we cannot separate the ecological crisis from the climate crisis, it's all interlinked in many ways. And during this pandemic, we have seen what we can achieve when we put resources into science. Vaccines were developed in record time, but so far, on average, one in four people in high income countries have received a coronavirus vaccine, compared with just one in over 500 in low- and middle-income countries. In the international community, governments and vaccine developers must step up their game and address the tragedy that is vaccine inequity."
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Greta Thunberg, Climate and Environmental Activist:
“We have the tools we need to correct this great imbalance that exists around the world today in the fight against COVID-19. Just like with the climate crisis, those who are the most vulnerable need to be prioritized. And global problems require global solutions. It is completely unethical that high income countries are now vaccinating young and healthy people even if that happens at the expense of people in risk groups and on the front lines in low- and middle-income countries. And this is a moral test. We talk today about showing solidarity and yet vaccine nationalism is what's running the vaccine distribution."
12. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Programme (WHO):
“The situation in Tigray could not be more dire. The people there could not be in more need of support and help. The situation is deteriorating. The situation is very much a massive concern on a purely humanitarian basis here. There is a health crisis on top of a humanitarian crisis. We're very concerned about malnutrition, about malaria, about cholera, measles, COVID-19 - positivity rates have been rising - and other diseases like meningitis and other diseases that will exploit malnutrition. They will exploit stress, and they will exploit all of what's happening in that population. We have resumed surveillance activities, but only covering about 30 percent of the population. And again, severe acute malnutrition is a major, major issue. It is very hard to overstate the extent of the humanitarian crisis and the health crisis currently unfolding in Tigray. And WHO and the other UN agencies and NGOs are calling for unfettered humanitarian access and for military conflict and those perpetrating the conflict, to remove themselves from civilian areas and those who should not be there, should not be there.”
14. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference

STORYLINE:

Climate activist Greta Thunberg will donate 100,000 Euros (120,000 USD) via her foundation, to the WHO Foundation, in support of COVAX to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the global effort to ensure equitable access of vaccines to the most at-risk in all countries, including health workers, older people and those with underlying conditions.

The donation has been made possible thanks to awards that the Greta Thunberg Foundation has received for her advocacy in support of action on climate change.

Speaking virtually at a press conference today (19 Apr), Thunberg said, “We can no longer separate the health crisis from the ecological crisis, and we cannot separate the ecological crisis from the climate crisis, it's all interlinked in many ways. And during this pandemic, we have seen what we can achieve when we put resources into science. Vaccines were developed in record time, but so far, on average, one in four people in high income countries have received a coronavirus vaccine, compared with just one in over 500 in low- and middle-income countries. In the international community, governments and vaccine developers must step up their game and address the tragedy that is vaccine inequity."

The activist added, “We have the tools we need to correct this great imbalance that exists around the world today in the fight against COVID-19. Just like with the climate crisis, those who are the most vulnerable need to be prioritized. And global problems require global solutions. It is completely unethical that high income countries are now vaccinating young and healthy people even if that happens at the expense of people in risk groups and on the front lines in low- and middle-income countries. And this is a moral test. We talk today about showing solidarity and yet vaccine nationalism is what's running the vaccine distribution."

On average, one in four people in high-income countries have received a coronavirus vaccine, compared with just one in more than 500 in low-income countries.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked Greta Thunberg for her advocacy in support of vaccine equity and the example she has set, through the Greta Thunberg Foundation, for making this life-saving donation to COVAX.

Dr Tedros said, “The health argument for climate action is crystal clear. The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people. There’s no vaccine for climate change, but we do have solutions.”

The WHO chief said Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of people worldwide to take action to address the climate crisis, and her strong support of vaccine equity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic yet again demonstrates her commitment to making the world a healthier, safer and fairer place for all people.

Updating reporters on the overall COVID-19 situation, Dr Tedros said the world had witness eight weeks of increased cases, with more than 5.2 million cases reported last week alone – “the most in a single week so far.” He said deaths rose for the fifth straight week, and more than three million deaths have now been reported to WHO. He stressed, “It took 9 months to reach 1 million deaths; 4 months to reach 2 million, and 3 months to reach 3 million. Big numbers can make us numb. But each one of these deaths is a tragedy for families, communities and nations. Infections and hospitalizations among people aged 25 to 59 are increasing at an alarming rate, possibly as a result of highly transmissible variants and increased social mixing among younger adults.”

The WHO Director-General said the world has the tools to “bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably.” He added that WHO issued an expression of interest for establishing a COVID-19 technology transfer hub for mRNA vaccines, to increase production of those vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. He said, “We are calling for the original manufacturers of mRNA vaccines to contribute their technology and know-how, and for manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to express interest in receiving that technology. We have seen incredible innovation in science; now we need innovation to ensure as many people as possible benefit from that science."

Commenting on Ethiopia’s Tigray, Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said the situation there “could not be more dire” and is deteriorating. Ryan said there are humanitarian and health crises facing the region and expressed concern about “malnutrition, about malaria, about cholera, measles, COVID-19 - positivity rates have been rising - and other diseases like meningitis and other diseases that will exploit malnutrition.”

He added, “We have resumed surveillance activities, but only covering about 30 percent of the population. And again, severe acute malnutrition is a major, major issue. It is very hard to overstate the extent of the humanitarian crisis and the health crisis currently unfolding in Tigray. And WHO and the other UN agencies and NGOs are calling for unfettered humanitarian access and for military conflict and those perpetrating the conflict, to remove themselves from civilian areas and those who should not be there, should not be there.”
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