WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES

Preview Language:   Original
24-Jan-2023 00:04:10
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Since the beginning of December, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 has been increasing, adding that “the actual number of deaths is much higher.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES
TRT: 4:10
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 24 JANUARY 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Since the beginning of December, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 has been increasing. In total, in the past eight weeks, more than 170 thousand people have died of COVID-19. That’s just reported deaths; the actual number of deaths is much higher.”
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Almost exactly three years on from declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, our highest level of alert, this week the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 will meet to discuss whether the current situation still constitutes a global emergency. While I will not pre-empt the advice of the Emergency Committee, I remain very concerned by the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths.
While we are clearly in better shape than three years ago when this pandemic first hit, the global collective response is once again under strain.”
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Joachim Hombach, Senior Health Advisor, EXT Secretary SAGE, Immunization, Vaccines & Biologicals, WHO:
There’s plenty of studies that really demonstrate the effectiveness of the vaccines and of vaccination and while many of the studies have some in-built methodological issues, I think the message is crystal clear in terms of the effectiveness of vaccination in particular against severe disease. Now however one thing which I think people need to be clear is when - the vaccines are not perfect and if vaccination coverage is very high, you will see an increasing proportion of the severe cases also in the people who have been vaccinated; this is simple arithmetics.”
7.Wide shot, press briefing room
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Over the past four months, several countries have reported incidents of contaminated cough syrups for children. Last year, WHO raised the alarm by issuing medical alerts in October focused on the Gambia, in November about Indonesia, and earlier this month regarding Uzbekistan. The cases in these three countries are associated with more than 300 deaths, but we know that at least seven countries have been affected. Most of the deaths have been in children under the age of five. These contaminants are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even in small amounts, and should never be found in medicines.”
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Hanan Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, AMA/AMR, WHO:
“These medications are common medications, some of them are cough syrup, they have anti pyretics in it, they have acetaminophen in it and the chemical that is added to the product is what's causing the death, the unnecessary death of these children and that is why it is very important for significant vigilance that takes place.”
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“This week, WHO released an urgent call for countries, manufacturers and suppliers to do more to prevent, detect and respond quickly to contaminated medicines.”
13. Wide shot, press briefing room
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Hanan Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, AMA/AMR, WHO:
“I think the work that we're trying to do is to assist our member states specifically those that are receiving medications not produced on their own lands for example, that they have that ability to check for the medications that are coming into their markets to ensure that they're able to test them for falsified and substandard medications.”
15. Wide shot, press briefing room
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Hanan Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, AMA/AMR, WHO:
“What we're also trying to enhance and we're speaking very clearly about this is the transparency and information sharing so that we can better investigate the sources of these… - the contaminated medications and with each time we are faced with some of these scenarios there is a big learning process.”

STORYLINE:

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Since the beginning of December, the number of weekly reported deaths from COVID-19 has been increasing, adding that “the actual number of deaths is much higher.”

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (24 Jan), Tedros said, “Almost exactly three years on from declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, our highest level of alert, this week the Emergency Committee on COVID-19 will meet to discuss whether the current situation still constitutes a global emergency.”

He added, “While I will not pre-empt the advice of the Emergency Committee, I remain very concerned by the situation in many countries and the rising number of deaths.
While we are clearly in better shape than three years ago when this pandemic first hit, the global collective response is once again under strain.”

WHO’s Dr Joachim Hombach also briefed the reporters. He said, “there’s plenty of studies that really demonstrate the effectiveness of the vaccines and of vaccination and while many of the studies have some in-built methodological issues, I think the message is crystal clear in terms of the effectiveness of vaccination in particular against severe disease.”

Hombach continued, “now however one thing which I think people need to be clear is when - the vaccines are not perfect and if vaccination coverage is very high, you will see an increasing proportion of the severe cases also in the people who have been vaccinated; this is simple arithmetics.”

Dr Tedros also said, “over the past four months, several countries have reported incidents of contaminated cough syrups for children.”

He continued, “Last year, WHO raised the alarm by issuing medical alerts in October focused on the Gambia, in November about Indonesia, and earlier this month regarding Uzbekistan. The cases in these three countries are associated with more than 300 deaths, but we know that at least seven countries have been affected. Most of the deaths have been in children under the age of five. These contaminants are toxic chemicals used as industrial solvents and antifreeze agents that can be fatal even in small amounts, and should never be found in medicines.”

WHO Assistant Director-General, Dr Hanan Balkhy said, “These medications are common medications, some of them are cough syrup, they have anti pyretics in it, they have acetaminophen in it and the chemical that is added to the product is what's causing the death, the unnecessary death of these children and that is why it is very important for significant vigilance that takes place.”

Dr Tedros also said, “This week, WHO released an urgent call for countries, manufacturers and suppliers to do more to prevent, detect and respond quickly to contaminated medicines.”

Dr Hanan Balkhy said, “I think the work that we're trying to do is to assist our member states specifically those that are receiving medications not produced on their own lands for example, that they have that ability to check for the medications that are coming into their markets to ensure that they're able to test them for falsified and substandard medications.”

She continued, “What we're also trying to enhance and we're speaking very clearly about this is the transparency and information sharing so that we can better investigate the sources of these… - the contaminated medications and with each time we are faced with some of these scenarios there is a big learning process.”
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