WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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28-Oct-2021 00:04:30
The Head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, said, “the global number of reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months, driven by an ongoing rise in Europe that outweighs declines in other regions.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 04:30
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 28 OCTOBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, press conference
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The global number of reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months, driven by an ongoing rise in Europe that outweighs declines in other regions. It’s another reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. The pandemic persists in large part because inequitable access to tools persists."
3. Wide shot, press conference
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Global coordination is the only way to defeat this virus. Market forces and bilateral deals alone will not close the equity gap. Today, we are releasing the new Plan and budget for the ACT Accelerator, with an ask of 23.4 billion US dollars, to meet our global targets and deliver the tools that are needed to countries over the next 12 months. Fully funding the ACT Accelerator is an essential component of WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, our overarching plan for bringing the pandemic under control."
5. Wide shot, press conference
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"This weekend, the leaders of the G20 countries will meet in Rome. Together, these countries have the ability to make the political and financial commitments that are needed to end this pandemic, and to prevent future crises. We are at a decisive moment, requiring decisive leadership to make the world safer. I have three requests for the G20 leaders. First, fully fund the ACT Accelerator. Second, support the creation of an overarching framework for global health security, through a legally binding treaty on pandemic preparedness and response. And third, support the creation of a Health Threats Financing Board."
7. Wide shot, press conference
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"As you know, WHO's recommendation is even though we are working very hard to address vaccine inequity around the world, working very hard to increase vaccination coverage, particularly among those who are most at risk in all countries, we still strongly advise on using other tools such as distancing, mask wearing, improving ventilation, avoiding crowds to minimize the spread because vaccines alone are not enough to end the pandemic."
9. Wide shot, press conference
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Today, the number of boosters that's being administered around the world, close to a million jabs a day, is three times the amount of vaccines being administered in low-income countries, which is about 330,000 doses a day. 62 countries have started administering boosters and more are thinking about it. The WHO had called for a moratorium on boosters till the end of the year, so we could move those vaccine doses to those countries and to those populations that are still below four or five per percent coverage, even the frontline workers have not been fully covered. So, it is doable, it is possible, and we hope that again, the G20 leaders will take decisions on how to use existing supplies, how to prioritize them to parts of the world which need them desperately."
11. Wide shot, press conference
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Bruce Aylward, Head, ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub and Senior Advisor to the Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"So, the big question to the G20 this weekend is, are they going to say 'here is where that 550 million doses are going to come from' because those 20 countries control the global vaccine supply? And I'm sorry to be as frank as that. But remember, between now and the end of this year, we're going to make another three billion doses of vaccine. Can we take 550 million doses of that, about 10 days of production, and make sure it goes into COVAX and the other mechanisms that can get the equitable distribution that by the end of this year will see more lives saved, more livelihoods on track and saved as well and the end of this pandemic?"
13. Wide shot, press conference

STORYLINE:

The Head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, today (28 Oct) said, “the global number of reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 is now increasing for the first time in two months, driven by an ongoing rise in Europe that outweighs declines in other regions.”

Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus said this was “another reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over."

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Tedros said, "global coordination is the only way to defeat this virus. Market forces and bilateral deals alone will not close the equity gap.”

He announced a new plan for the ACT Accelerator, with a budget of 23.4 billion US dollars, “to meet our global targets and deliver the tools that are needed to countries over the next 12 months,” and stressed that “fully funding the ACT Accelerator is an essential component of WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, our overarching plan for bringing the pandemic under control."

The Director-General said the leaders of the G20 countries, “have the ability to make the political and financial commitments that are needed to end this pandemic, and to prevent future crises.”

He requested that these countries “first, fully fund the ACT Accelerator. Second, support the creation of an overarching framework for global health security, through a legally binding treaty on pandemic preparedness and response. And third, support the creation of a Health Threats Financing Board."

The WHO’s COVID-19 Technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, said, "WHO's recommendation is even though we are working very hard to address vaccine inequity around the world, working very hard to increase vaccination coverage, particularly among those who are most at risk in all countries, we still strongly advise on using other tools such as distancing, mask wearing, improving ventilation, avoiding crowds to minimize the spread because vaccines alone are not enough to end the pandemic."

For her part, the WHO’s Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, said "the number of boosters that's being administered around the world, close to a million jabs a day, is three times the amount of vaccines being administered in low-income countries, which is about 330,000 doses a day. 62 countries have started administering boosters and more are thinking about it. The WHO had called for a moratorium on boosters till the end of the year, so we could move those vaccine doses to those countries and to those populations that are still below four or five per percent coverage, even the frontline workers have not been fully covered. So, it is doable, it is possible, and we hope that again, the G20 leaders will take decisions on how to use existing supplies, how to prioritize them to parts of the world which need them desperately."

Dr Bruce Aylward, who is the Head of ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub, asked of G20 leaders, "between now and the end of this year, we're going to make another three billion doses of vaccine. Can we take 550 million doses of that, about 10 days of production, and make sure it goes into COVAX and the other mechanisms that can get the equitable distribution that by the end of this year will see more lives saved, more livelihoods on track and saved as well and the end of this pandemic?"

The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator strategic plan and budget for the next 12 months, outlines the urgent actions and funding needed to address deep inequities in the COVID-19 response, save millions of lives and end the acute phase of the pandemic.

The WHO says inequitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines is prolonging the pandemic everywhere and risking the emergence of new, more dangerous variants that could evade current tools to fight the disease. So far, only 0.4 percent of tests and 0.5 percent of vaccines administered worldwide have been used in low-income countries, despite these countries comprising 9 percent of the global population.
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