WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

18-Feb-2020 00:02:29
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that his Organization “has shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 21 countries and will ship to another 106 countries in the coming weeks. By the end of this week, 40 countries in Africa and 29 in the Americas are due to have the ability to detect COVID-19.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 2:29
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 18 FEBRUARY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, press conference
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We’ve shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 21 countries and will ship to another 106 countries in the coming weeks. By the end of this week, 40 countries in Africa and 29 in the Americas are due to have the ability to detect COVID-19.”
3.Med shot, reporter
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We like to see progressive implementation of public health measures. So the first objective Wuhan was to contain the virus at the epicenter, and you've heard the Director-General speak, fight the virus at the epicenter, suppressing that virus now allow space to really do much more active surveillance. While the authorities there are doing that act of surveillance, they don't want the virus to return to other places. Beijing as a central point in the country where many, many workers returned to. So what China are trying to do, it's while they're getting success and putting our one fire, they don't want the fire to start somewhere else. So they're taking very directed measures to ensure that people returning to the city are observed and monitored.”
5.Med shot, reporter
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Michael J Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We can save many, many lives in the coming months, with or without a vaccine. We all want to invest in the vaccine as a long-term solution, but there are people sick now and there are health systems that are vulnerable now. So we need to balance our investments and invest in the weaker health systems, in our own systems. We can save a lot of lives through supportive therapy, by testing the drugs we're currently testing, and by getting everything in our systems working. And then we do the other things, and we developed the vaccine. And we do have to make decisions on vaccine investment now.”
7.Med shot, reporter
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“In order to avert any, serious problem in the rest of the world and use the window of opportunity to the maximum, It's the simple public health solutions that we should do, that should really be our focus while of course, preparing for the vaccine. So that balancing act is very, very important. We do what should be done today, and then we invest also in the future to prepare for the future.”
9.Med shot, reporter
STORYLINE
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that his Organization “has shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 21 countries and will ship to another 106 countries in the coming weeks. By the end of this week, 40 countries in Africa and 29 in the Americas are due to have the ability to detect COVID-19.”

Also speaking to reporters today (18 Feb) was WHO’s Executive Director Michael J Ryan. He said, “we like to see progressive implementation of public health measures. So the first objective Wuhan was to contain the virus at the epicenter, and you've heard the Director-General speak, fight the virus at the epicenter, suppressing that virus now allow space to really do much more active surveillance. While the authorities there are doing that act of surveillance, they don't want the virus to return to other places.”

Ryan continued, “Beijing as a central point in the country where many, many workers returned to. So what China are trying to do, it's while they're getting success and putting our one fire, they don't want the fire to start somewhere else. So they're taking very directed measures to ensure that people returning to the city are observed and monitored.”

Ryan also said, “we can save many, many lives in the coming months, with or without a vaccine. We all want to invest in the vaccine as a long-term solution, but there are people sick now and there are health systems that are vulnerable now. So we need to balance our investments and invest in the weaker health systems, in our own systems.”

The Executive Director continued, “we can save a lot of lives through supportive therapy, by testing the drugs we're currently testing, and by getting everything in our systems working. And then we do the other things, and we developed the vaccine. And we do have to make decisions on vaccine investment now.”

WHO’s Director-General also said, “in order to avert any, serious problem in the rest of the world and use the window of opportunity to the maximum, It's the simple public health solutions that we should do, that should really be our focus while of course, preparing for the vaccine. So that balancing act is very, very important. We do what should be done today, and then we invest also in the future to prepare for the future.”

According to WHO, as of today, no new countries reported cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. WHO Operations Support and Logistics (OSL) continues to gather and assess the needs of Member States for critical items such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). On 14 February, OSL started the dispatch of laboratory COVID-19 testing kits for 56 countries. As of 17 February, 37 shipments have been dispatched to 34 countries and three regional offices.
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