WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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25-Aug-2021 00:04:45
WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the global number of COVID-19 cases and deaths was “stable” last week, “but it is stable at a very high level – more than 4.5 million cases and 68,000 deaths.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT:4:45
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 AUGUST 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"After increasing for nearly two months, the global number of COVID-19 cases and deaths was stable last week. But it is stable at a very high level – more than 4.5 million cases and 68,000 deaths. However, the situation is very different from region to region, country to country, province to province and town to town. Some regions and countries continue to see steep increases in cases and deaths, while others are declining. As long as this virus is circulating anywhere, it’s a threat everywhere."
3.Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Even as we continue our work to understand how this pandemic started, we are also moving ahead with plans to strengthen the world’s defences against future epidemics and pandemics. As you know, there have been several reports with many recommendations for how to do this, including the report of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the Review Committee of the International Health Regulations, the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, and others. Most recently, the G20 established a High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) H.E. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore & Co-Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response:
"What is clear is that global health security is dangerously underfunded. We are consequently vulnerable to a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, with repeated waves affecting all countries, and we are also vulnerable to future pandemics. We can fix this. The resources that need to be mobilised are larger than what nations have collectively been willing to commit to in the past. But they are very small investments, compared to the costs of a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and they are tiny investments compared to the costs of future pandemics that we can avoid."
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) H.E. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore & Co-Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response:
"We have to move away from thinking about funding of global health security in terms of foreign aid, towards thinking about it as a strategic investment that all nations must make. Not only for the good of the global community, but because it is in each nation's self-interest. It is not about aid to other countries. It is about a strategic investment we must collectively make in all of our own interests."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Although the world’s attention is rightly focused on ending the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another epidemic that will continue to kill millions of people every year. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, and hypertension is one of its main risk factors. More than 1.2 billion people live with hypertension. I am one of them. But I am one of the lucky ones, with good access to medicines, understanding my condition and making sure it is controlled. That's wha I said I am the lucky one."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"A new study led by Imperial College London and WHO published today estimates that almost half of all people with hypertension don’t know they have it, and only 1 in 5 have it under control. We have the tools to prevent, diagnose and manage hypertension. Our challenge is to make sure everyone with hypertension has access to those tools. Today, WHO launched a new guideline for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults, which presents the most up-to-date evidence-based recommendations on managing hypertension."
13.Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the global number of COVID-19 cases and deaths was “stable” last week, “but it is stable at a very high level – more than 4.5 million cases and 68,000 deaths.”

Speaking to reporters today (25 Aug) in Geneva, Tedros said, “the situation is very different from region to region, country to country, province to province and town to town,” adding that “some regions and countries continue to see steep increases in cases and deaths, while others are declining. As long as this virus is circulating anywhere, it’s a threat everywhere."

The Director-General also said, "even as we continue our work to understand how this pandemic started, we are also moving ahead with plans to strengthen the world’s defences against future epidemics and pandemics.”

He continued, “as you know, there have been several reports with many recommendations for how to do this, including the report of the Independent Panel on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the Review Committee of the International Health Regulations, the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, and others. Most recently, the G20 established a High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response."

Senior Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam also spoke to the reporters. He said, “what is clear is that global health security is dangerously underfunded. We are consequently vulnerable to a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, with repeated waves affecting all countries, and we are also vulnerable to future pandemics. We can fix this.”

He continued, “the resources that need to be mobilised are larger than what nations have collectively been willing to commit to in the past. But they are very small investments, compared to the costs of a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and they are tiny investments compared to the costs of future pandemics that we can avoid."

Shanmugaratnam also said, "we have to move away from thinking about funding of global health security in terms of foreign aid, towards thinking about it as a strategic investment that all nations must make. Not only for the good of the global community, but because it is in each nation's self-interest. It is not about aid to other countries. It is about a strategic investment we must collectively make in all of our own interests."


On cardiovascular diseases, Dr Tedros said, “cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, and hypertension is one of its main risk factors. More than 1.2 billion people live with hypertension. I am one of them. But I am one of the lucky ones, with good access to medicines, understanding my condition and making sure it is controlled. That's wha I said I am the lucky one."

He also said, "a new study led by Imperial College London and WHO published today estimates that almost half of all people with hypertension don’t know they have it, and only 1 in 5 have it under control. We have the tools to prevent, diagnose and manage hypertension.”

Dr Tedros said, “our challenge is to make sure everyone with hypertension has access to those tools. Today, WHO launched a new guideline for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension in adults, which presents the most up-to-date evidence-based recommendations on managing hypertension."
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