WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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11-Aug-2021 00:02:33
The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO)Tedros Ghebreyesus said, "last week, the 200 millionth case of COVID-19 was reported to WHO, just six months after the world passed 100 million reported cases.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 02:33
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 11 AUGUST 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Last week, the 200 millionth case of COVID-19 was reported to WHO, just six months after the world passed 100 million reported cases. And we know that the real number of cases is much higher. As I said recently, whether we reach 300 million, and how fast we get there, depends on all of us. At the current trajectory, we could pass 300 million reported cases early next year. But we can change that. We’re all in this together, but the world is not acting like it."
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Today we are pleased to announce the next phase in the Solidarity trial, called Solidarity PLUS. Solidarity PLUS will test three drugs: artesunate, a treatment for severe malaria; imatinib, a drug for certain cancers; and infliximab, a treatment for immune system disorders such as Crohn’s disease. These drugs were chosen by an independent panel of experts that evaluates all the available evidence on all potential therapeutics. The trial involves thousands of researchers at more than 600 hospitals in 52 countries."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Marie-Pierre Preziosi, Co-Lead, Research and Development Blueprint, World Health Programme (WHO):
"So just to confirm that with 52 countries, as you can imagine we cannot have all 52 starting at once. However, we can today say with confidence that half of them have already obtained all the ethical and regulatory approvals, but we need more because as global sponsor we need to have the evidence of all of the submissions. We need to go through all the details, the training, to make sure that they all implement the trial correctly and according to protocol and support them in their preparations. So, to be a little bit more specific, we have at least ten to 15 countries for which the drugs have been shipped or are under shipment already today.”
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Hanna Sarkkinen, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Finland:
"It is simple to participate for the hospitals and for the doctors and for the teams and it doesn't create much extra work in the treatment of patients, so I think it is an important aspect of the Solidarity PLUS and also key that we have been able to make it so popular in the Finnish hospitals and in Finnish healthcare."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical lead, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"I think what is important as we look at these variants is that we look at the circulation of them. Our understanding of the circulation of the Iota variant, that is the prevalence of Iota in the United States, where much of the variant has been detected, is actually decreasing and the variant Delta is actually increasing. And so, the Delta variant seems to out compete the Iota variant in terms of circulation. I think globally, if we look globally, more than 90 percent of the sequences that have been submitted to platforms like GISAID have actually been of the Delta variant."11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Last Friday, the Ministry of Health of Guinea informed WHO of a case of Marburg virus disease in the country’s south-west, in a man who died 8 days after onset of symptoms. This is the first known case of Marburg in West Africa. WHO and our partners are supporting Guinea’s Ministry of Health to investigate the source of the outbreak, trace contacts, and inform the local community about how to protect themselves. About 150 contacts have been identified and are being followed up, including three family members and a health worker, who have been identified as high-risk close contacts."
13. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO)Tedros Ghebreyesus said, "last week, the 200 millionth case of COVID-19 was reported to WHO, just six months after the world passed 100 million reported cases.”

During WHO’s weekly press briefing in Geneva, Tedros said, “we know that the real number of cases is much higher. As I said recently, whether we reach 300 million, and how fast we get there, depends on all of us. At the current trajectory, we could pass 300 million reported cases early next year. But we can change that.”

He said, “we’re all in this together, but the world is not acting like it."

The WHO Director-General announced the next phase in the Solidarity trial, known as Solidarity PLUS.

He said, “Solidarity PLUS will test three drugs: artesunate, a treatment for severe malaria; imatinib, a drug for certain cancers; and infliximab, a treatment for immune system disorders such as Crohn’s disease. These drugs were chosen by an independent panel of experts that evaluates all the available evidence on all potential therapeutics. The trial involves thousands of researchers at more than 600 hospitals in 52 countries."

Also briefing from Geneva, WHO’s Co-Lead for Research and Development Blueprint, Marie-Pierre Preziosi said “we cannot have all 52 starting at once. However, we can today say with confidence that half of them have already obtained all the ethical and regulatory approvals, but we need more because as global sponsor we need to have the evidence of all of the submissions.”

She said, “we have at least ten to 15 countries for which the drugs have been shipped or are under shipment already today."

The Minister of Social Affairs and Health of Finland, Hanna Sarkkinen, said the Solidarity PLUS trial “is simple to participate for the hospitals and for the doctors and for the teams and it doesn't create much extra work in the treatment of patients.”

Sarkkinen, said it was “an important aspect of the Solidarity PLUS and also key that we have been able to make it so popular in the Finnish hospitals and in Finnish healthcare."

The WHO’s COVID-19 Technical lead for its Health Emergencies Programme, Maria Van Kerkhove, said, it was “important as we look at these variants is that we look at the circulation of them.”

Van Kerkhove said, “our understanding of the circulation of the Iota variant, that is the prevalence of Iota in the United States, where much of the variant has been detected, is actually decreasing and the variant Delta is actually increasing. And so, the Delta variant seems to out compete the Iota variant in terms of circulation. I think globally, if we look globally, more than 90 percent of the sequences that have been submitted to platforms like GISAID have actually been of the Delta variant."

Tedros told journalists that last Friday, the Ministry of Health of Guinea informed WHO “of a case of Marburg virus disease in the country’s south-west, in a man who died 8 days after onset of symptoms.”

He said this was “the first known case of Marburg in West Africa.”

The Director-General said WHO and partners “are supporting Guinea’s Ministry of Health to investigate the source of the outbreak, trace contacts, and inform the local community about how to protect themselves,” adding that “about 150 contacts have been identified and are being followed up, including three family members and a health worker, who have been identified as high-risk close contacts."

According to the WHO, Marburg virus is the causative agent of Marburg virus disease (MVD), a disease with a case fatality ratio of up to 88 percent, but which can be much lower with good patient care.

The Marburg virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever in humans. It was initially detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia.
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