WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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12-Nov-2021 00:04:36
The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said COVID-19 “is surging in countries with lower vaccination rates in Eastern Europe, but also in countries with some of the world’s highest vaccination rates in Western Europe.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 04:36
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 NOVEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"COVID-19 is surging in countries with lower vaccination rates in Eastern Europe, but also in countries with some of the world’s highest vaccination rates in Western Europe. It’s another reminder, as we have said again and again, that vaccines do not replace the need for other precautions. Vaccines reduce the risk of hospitalisation, severe disease and death. But they do not fully prevent transmission."
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"We continue to recommend the tailored and proportionate use of testing, masks, physical distancing, measures to prevent crowding, improve ventilation, and more. And get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Every country must constantly assess its situation and adjust its approach accordingly. With the right mix of measures, it’s possible for countries to find the balance between keeping transmission down and keeping their societies and economies open."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"No country can simply vaccinate its way out of the pandemic. It’s not vaccines or, it’s vaccines and. And it’s not just about how many people are vaccinated, it’s about who is vaccinated. It makes no sense to give boosters to healthy adults, or to vaccinate children, when health workers, older people and other high-risk groups around the world are still waiting for their first dose. The exception, as we have said, is immunocompromised individuals. Countries with the highest vaccine coverage continue to stockpile more vaccines, while low-income countries continue to wait. Every day, there are six times more boosters administered globally than primary doses in low-income countries. This is a scandal that must stop now."
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical lead, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"And even in the countries, we are seeing across Europe, across the world, transmission is increasing. Transmission is driven by so many factors right now - the variants, increases in social mixing, which began months ago. The patterns that we are seeing across Europe, the patterns we are seeing across the world are entirely predictable because when you lift public health and social measures, when you lift the rules around masking and distancing and improving ventilation, avoiding crowds, in the context of variants, in the context of increased social mixing, in the context of limited vaccination, you are going to see the virus thrive. And that's exactly what is happening right now."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"But to have a drug potentially coming down the pipe that can treat high-risk patients earlier in the course of disease is good news. But we wait to see the metanalysis, we wait to go through the process. WHO will work with partners to ensure, under (Dr) Mariangela's (Simao) leadership, that we have the safest and most efficacious products available. And then, obviously trying to get to the point where they can be produced at a price that people can afford. So, I think it's all going in the right direction, but we just need to move step by step in a methodical way."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"And we are struggling to even maintain the most minimum of services right now on the ground. The risks are growing. People are dying. People are starving. People are dying because of lack of access to basic - the very basics of medical care. The very basic human right-to-life is now being lost and it is an unfolding tragedy, and it is unfolding before our very eyes. And the world needs to wake up to what is happening."
13. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said COVID-19 “is surging in countries with lower vaccination rates in Eastern Europe, but also in countries with some of the world’s highest vaccination rates in Western Europe.”

Talking to reporters from Geneva, Tedros said, “it’s another reminder, as we have said again and again, that vaccines do not replace the need for other precautions. Vaccines reduce the risk of hospitalisation, severe disease and death. But they do not fully prevent transmission."

The WHO Director-General said, “we continue to recommend the tailored and proportionate use of testing, masks, physical distancing, measures to prevent crowding, improve ventilation, and more. And get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Every country must constantly assess its situation and adjust its approach accordingly. With the right mix of measures, it’s possible for countries to find the balance between keeping transmission down and keeping their societies and economies open."

He stressed that, “no country can simply vaccinate its way out of the pandemic” adding “it’s not vaccines or, it’s vaccines and.”

Tedros said, “it’s not just about how many people are vaccinated, it’s about who is vaccinated. It makes no sense to give boosters to healthy adults, or to vaccinate children, when health workers, older people and other high-risk groups around the world are still waiting for their first dose. The exception, as we have said, is immunocompromised individuals. Countries with the highest vaccine coverage continue to stockpile more vaccines, while low-income countries continue to wait. Every day, there are six times more boosters administered globally than primary doses in low-income countries. This is a scandal that must stop now."

WHO’s COVID-19 Technical lead, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, said, “transmission is driven by so many factors right now - the variants, increases in social mixing, which began months ago” and added that “the patterns that we are seeing across Europe, the patterns we are seeing across the world are entirely predictable because when you lift public health and social measures, when you lift the rules around masking and distancing and improving ventilation, avoiding crowds, in the context of variants, in the context of increased social mixing, in the context of limited vaccination, you are going to see the virus thrive. And that's exactly what is happening right now."

On Merck’s antiviral Molnupiravir, the Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Mike Ryan, said, "to have a drug potentially coming down the pipe that can treat high-risk patients earlier in the course of disease is good news. But we wait to see the metanalysis, we wait to go through the process.

On the situation in Ethiopia, Ryan said, “we are struggling to even maintain the most minimum of services right now on the ground. The risks are growing. People are dying. People are starving. People are dying because of lack of access to basic - the very basics of medical care. The very basic human right-to-life is now being lost and it is an unfolding tragedy, and it is unfolding before our very eyes. And the world needs to wake up to what is happening."
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