WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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01-Jun-2021 00:05:54
The heads of the world’s predominant global financing, health and trade agencies have united to urge government leaders to urgently finance a new $50 billion roadmap to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools to help end the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods for 18 months and also set the foundations for a truly global recovery, as well as enhanced health security. WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 5:54
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGAUGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 01 JUNE 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Overnight, I joined leaders from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank Group in publishing an op-ed in many newspapers around the world that calls for a new commitment with a 50 billion US dollars rapid investment to fund the equitable distribution of vaccines and other crucial health tools. We particularly welcome that in the proposal, the majority of the new funding would be made available quickly through grants, including to fill the ACT Accelerator’s funding gap. This would help us dramatically scale up the production of diagnostics, treatments, oxygen, medical equipment and vaccines for equitable distribution."
3.Wide shot, press briefing room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"It should be a real game changer and as G7 finance leaders meet in the UK this week, followed by a heads of state summit next week, there are multiple opportunities for leaders to step up. As well as securing funds to roll out health tools equitably, now is the moment for leaders to share vaccine doses with COVAX, ensure health workers and other at-risk people are protected, and extinguish variants."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"In countries where vaccination coverage is better, meaning in high-income countries where the access to vaccine is better and those who have vaccinated a significant proportion of their population, the COVID situation is declining or the number of cases and deaths is declining significantly. In some countries it's actually nosediving. So, we have the tool, that's why we said we have the public health measures at hand, which have been working in many countries, and now we have the added tool, vaccine, at hand. If we do both we can end this pandemic quickly."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund:
"You may ask, why is the IMF concerned with vaccinations? We are deeply concerned because an increasingly two-track pandemic is causing a two-track economic recovery with negative consequences for all countries. And our data shows that in the near term, vaccinating the world is the most effective way to boost global output. In other words, vaccine policy is economic policy."
8. Wide shot, press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization:
"So I say also that vaccine policy is trade policy and vice versa. We won't get the vaccine production increase we need without action on trade.And without ending vaccine scarcity, we cannot get the lasting trade and economic recovery we need. We want global cooperation to save lives and pick up those trillion-dollar bills. Thank you."
10.Wide shot, press briefing room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) David R. Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
"My immediate priority is for countries that have sufficient supply to quickly release doses to countries that have vaccination deployment programs, the World Bank has 12 billion dollars in vaccine financing available now and more, if needed, to help countries buy and distribute COVID-19 vaccines and to encourage vaccinations. By the end of June, we will have approved vaccination operations in over 50 countries."
12. Wide shot, press briefing room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan EXD, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"The impact, the point of impact of this pandemic shifts. And we're moving from looking at the tragedy of India and Nepal and that point of impact shifts. And it's really been driven by the underlying incidents and the basic capacity of the health system to cope. And in the absence of high levels of vaccination there're the two factors that are going to drive the impact of this disease in the coming months. How intense is transmission? How well is your system able to cope with that transmission? Vaccine can break that cycle because right now, intense transmission in every country in the world has led to intense pressure on the health system and increase in case fatality rate. Vaccination can break that cycle. Continuing to implement public health and social measures can break that cycle of violence."
14. Wide shot, press briefing
15. SOUNDBITE (English)Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical lead, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
"We know that the B1.617.2, the Delta variant, does have increased transmissibility, which means it can spread easier between people. It has to do with the mutations that are identified and allowing the virus to adhere to the cell and infect the cell more easily. What I think is it's important to remember that all of these variants are combinations of mutations. So, this has been reported as a hybrid but in fact, what it is, it's this one mutation, the Delta variant, with an additional deletion. And so what we are really seeing is this convergence of evolution and the changes in these mutations, the changes in the virus, which is to be expected because with more than 170 million cases reported to date, which is truly an underestimate of the of the true number of infections worldwide, this virus will continue to change."

STORYLINE:

The heads of the world’s predominant global financing, health and trade agencies have united to urge government leaders to urgently finance a new $50 billion roadmap to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools to help end the pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods for 18 months and also set the foundations for a truly global recovery, as well as enhanced health security.

In a statement published by newspapers around the world, the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization [Kristalina Georgieva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, David Malpass and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala] said governments must act without further delay or risk continued waves and explosive outbreaks of COVID-19 as well as more transmissible and deadly virus variants undermining the global recovery.

Leaders of the four agencies said: “By now it has become abundantly clear there will be no broad-based recovery without an end to the health crisis. Access to vaccination is key to both.”

The joint statement draws on a recent IMF staff analysis, which stated that $50 billion in new investment is needed to increase manufacturing capacity, supply, trade flows, and delivery, which would accelerate the equitable distribution of diagnostics, oxygen, treatments, medical supplies and vaccines. This injection would also give a major boost to economic growth around the world.

“At an estimated $50 billion, it will bring the pandemic to an end faster in the developing world, reduce infections and loss of lives, accelerate the economic recovery, and generate some $9 trillion in additional global output by 2025,” said the leadership.

It echoes economic analysis by the International Chamber of Commerce; and the Eurasia Group – both of which make the case for a relatively modest investment by governments in comparison to the trillions spent on national stimulus plans and lost trillions in foregone economic output. But the critical element of this is that it effectively spurs global vaccination and bridges the equity gap.

“Increasing our ambition and vaccinating more people faster: WHO and its COVAX partners have set a goal of vaccinating approximately 30% of the population in all countries by the end of 2021,” said the four leaders. “But this can reach even 40% through other agreements and surge investment, and at least 60 percent by the first half of 2022.”

Governments are urged to act on the investment opportunity to boost supplies of vaccines, oxygen, tests and treatment. The IMF, WBG, WHO and WTO leaders issued their joint statement as the World Health Assembly drew to a conclusion and a round of G7 meetings were set to start, beginning with a Finance Ministers convening later this week, and following a Global Health Summit co-hosted by the EU and Italy, which chairs the G20.

“To urgently get more shots in arms, doses need to be donated immediately to developing countries synchronized with national vaccine deployment plans, including through COVAX,” said the four leaders. “Cooperation on trade is also needed to ensure free cross-border flows and increasing supplies of raw materials and finished vaccines.”

The IMF, WBG, WHO and WTO leaders are scheduled to participate in a joint press conference on Tuesday, 1 June to outline the new joint roadmap to ending the pandemic and driving a truly global and fast recovery.
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