WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES

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06-Sep-2023 00:04:42
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, there are “concerning trends for COVID ahead of the winter season in the northern hemisphere.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / HEALTH EMERGENCIES
TRT: 04:42
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 SEPTEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior WHO Headquarters

06 SEPTEMBER 2023, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We continue to see concerning trends for COVID ahead of the winter season in the northern hemisphere. Deaths are increasing in the Middle East and Asia. ICU admissions are increasing in Europe and hospitalizations are increasing in several regions.”
4. Wide shot, press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Globally, there is not one variant that’s dominant. The variant of interest EG.5 is on the rise, while the XBB subvariants are declining. The BA.2.86 variant has been detected in small numbers in 11 countries. WHO is monitoring the situation closely to assess its transmissibility and potential impact.”
6. Wide shot, press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead COVID-19, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“But this is in the backdrop of three variants of interest, EG. 5, and two of the XBB sub lineages. EG. 5 is about 30 percent of the sequences that are globally. So this variant is not out competing any of the variants of interest right now or other variants that are in circulation and this is what we’re looking out for.”
8. Wide shot, press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“One of WHO’s biggest concerns is the low level of at-risk people who have not received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine recently. Our message is not to wait to get an additional dose if it is recommended for you.”
10. Wide shot, press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead COVID-19, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“What is really important is that those who are most at risk for developing severe disease receive a booster, receive an additional dose. Certainly if you are in an older age group within 12 months, if you are in the oldest age group over 75, if you have multiple underlying conditions, the current SAGE recommendations are to be boosted within six months and the vaccines that are in use continue to prevent severe disease and death. Even with the new sub variants, the new variants that are being detected, including EG.5 and some preliminary data coming out suggesting that the vaccines will be protective against this new variant BA.2.86 so this is encouraging news.”
12. Wide shot, press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead COVID-19, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We are concerned about COVID but we’re also about influenza and RSV. What we don't want to see are actions that only focus on one particular pathogen at the expense of others and what we are doing for COVID is beneficial for flu, is beneficial for RSV.”
14. Wide shot, press conference
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“First to Sudan, where the humanitarian situation is continuing to deteriorate. About 65 percent of the population has no access to health services and more than 70 percent of health facilities in conflict areas are not functioning. The implications are horrific. Every day, nine patients with renal dialysis die, and renal dialysis centres in four states have closed due to lack of supplies. In addition to supporting 11 hospitals, WHO is now rolling out 12 mobile health clinics to provide live-saving and essential health services to people with no access.”
16. Wide shot, press conference
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Now to Bangladesh, which is experiencing its most severe outbreak of dengue on record. Since the outbreak began in April, more than 135 thousand cases and 650 deaths have been reported, including 300 deaths reported in August alone. The outbreak is putting huge pressure on the health system.”
18. Wide shot, press conference
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We have trained doctors and deployed experts on the ground. We have also provided supplies to test for dengue and to support care for patients.”
20. Wide shot, press conference
21. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Finally, to Nigeria, which is experiencing a severe outbreak of diphtheria. So far, more than 9000 suspected cases have been reported across 17 states, with 307 deaths. This is the second wave of diphtheria this year. Diphtheria is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease, caused by a bacterium which can be fatal in 5 to 10 percent of cases, with a higher mortality rate in young children. In response, WHO is supporting the government to improve vaccination, surveillance, case management and risk communication.”
22. Wide shot, press conference

STORYLINE:

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today (6 Sep) said, there are “concerning trends for COVID ahead of the winter season in the northern hemisphere.”

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, Dr Tedros said, “deaths are increasing in the Middle East and Asia, ICU admissions are increasing in Europe and hospitalizations are increasing in several regions.”

He said, the variant EG.5 “is on the rise, while the XBB subvariants are declining,” while the BA.2.86 variant “has been detected in small numbers in 11 countries.”

WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, said, “this variant is not out competing any of the variants of interest right now or other variants that are in circulation and this is what we’re looking out for.”

Dr Tedros said, “one of WHO’s biggest concerns is the low level of at-risk people who have not received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine recently. Our message is not to wait to get an additional dose if it is recommended for you.”

Van Kerkhove, for her part said, “what is really important is that those who are most at risk for developing severe disease receive a booster, receive an additional dose. Certainly, if you are in an older age group within 12 months, if you are in the oldest age group over 75, if you have multiple underlying conditions, the current SAGE recommendations are to be boosted within six months and the vaccines that are in use continue to prevent severe disease and death. Even with the new sub variants, the new variants that are being detected, including EG.5 and some preliminary data coming out suggesting that the vaccines will

She said, “we are concerned about COVID but we’re also about influenza and RSV. What we don't want to see are actions that only focus on one particular pathogen at the expense of others and what we are doing for COVID is beneficial for flu, is beneficial for RSV.”

Turning to Sudan, Dr Tedros said, “the humanitarian situation is continuing to deteriorate. About 65 percent of the population has no access to health services and more than 70 percent of health facilities in conflict areas are not functioning. The implications are horrific. Every day, nine patients with renal dialysis die, and renal dialysis centres in four states have closed due to lack of supplies. In addition to supporting 11 hospitals, WHO is now rolling out 12 mobile health clinics to provide live-saving and essential health services to people with no access.”

On Bangladesh, he said it was experiencing “its most severe outbreak of dengue on record.”

Dr Tedros said, “since the outbreak began in April, more than 135 thousand cases and 650 deaths have been reported, including 300 deaths reported in August alone. The outbreak is putting huge pressure on the health system.”

He said, “we have trained doctors and deployed experts on the ground. We have also provided supplies to test for dengue and to support care for patients.”

On to Nigeria, the WHO Director-General said it was experiencing “a severe outbreak of diphtheria. So far, more than 9000 suspected cases have been reported across 17 states, with 307 deaths.

This, he said, “is the second wave of diphtheria this year. Diphtheria is a highly contagious but vaccine-preventable disease, caused by a bacterium which can be fatal in 5 to 10 percent of cases, with a higher mortality rate in young children. In response, WHO is supporting the government to improve vaccination, surveillance, case management and risk communication.”
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