WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

05-Mar-2020 00:03:52
The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva that the COVID-19 epidemic “can be pushed back, but only with a collective coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 03:52
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 05 MARCH 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, Dr. Tedros arrival at press briefing
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“This epidemic can be pushed back, but only with a collective coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government.”
3. Med shot, journalists
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“We are concerned that some countries have either not taken this seriously enough or have decided there is nothing they can do. We're concerned that in some countries the level of political commitment and the actions that demonstrate that commitment do not match the level of the threat we all face. This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops. Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades, now is the time to act on those plans.”
5. Close up, reporters typing
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“If countries act aggressively to find, isolate and treat cases and to trace every contact, they can change the trajectory of this epidemic. If we take the approach that there is nothing we can do, that will quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
7. Med shot, reporters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“We don't give up without fighting hard. That's what we're saying. Those who fought hard have already contained it, so there is already a positive signal and experience within this virus itself. So, let's really use the comprehensive approach. And you remember some countries I've already said, we don't mind whether WHO, you know, says this is pandemic or not. We would like to continue with a comprehensive approach, including aggressive containment. And we said, you're right. That's exactly what we're saying.”
9. Med shot, Dr. Tedros speaking
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“The lessons I think we've learned from China and Singapore is to break down your problem, understand where you have just sporadic cases, understand where you have clusters, understand where you have community transmission, adapt your response to those needs.”
11. Wide shot, cameras
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“We need to learn the lessons that have been offered, move on, because each new context is different. What we do in country X will not be the same, exactly of what you do in country Y, because the context is different. The evolution is different, but there are wonderful lessons we can learn from China.”
10. Med shot, Dr Tedros seen on computer screen
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical lead, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“One of the things I was most touched at, if I could say, in China, was the absolute drive of every single person we met. Every person of the population knew what their role was in this outbreak. They knew what they needed to do. They knew how they, how they had to protect themselves, how they could protect their families and what they needed to do collectively to bring this under control. We've said before, just because you have cases doesn't mean you're going to have clusters. Doesn't mean you're going to have large outbreaks. It doesn't mean that it's going to go out of control. We've seen not only in China, we've seen these fundamentals be being used in Singapore being used in Vietnam, being used in, in many countries. And they're bringing that back down and it comes back down to the fundamental, these fundamental public health measures, and that is something every country can do.”
12. Wide shot, conference room
STORYLINE
The Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus today (5 Mar) told reporters in Geneva that the COVID-19 epidemic “can be pushed back, but only with a collective coordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government.”

Dr. Tedros said, “we are concerned that some countries have either not taken this seriously enough or have decided there is nothing they can do. We're concerned that in some countries the level of political commitment and the actions that demonstrate that commitment do not match the level of the threat we all face. This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops. Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades, now is the time to act on those plans.”

The WHO‘s Director-General stressed that “if countries act aggressively to find, isolate and treat cases and to trace every contact, they can change the trajectory of this epidemic. If we take the approach that there is nothing we can do, that will quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Dr. Tedros said “we don't give up without fighting hard” and added that “those who fought hard have already contained it, so there is already a positive signal and experience within this virus itself.”

He commended some countries’ approach “to continue with a comprehensive approach” regardless of whether the WHO determines this constitutes a pandemic or not.

WHO’s Executive Director for Health Emergencies Programme, Dr. Mike Ryan, told reporters the lesson learned from China and Singapore “is to break down your problem, understand where you have just sporadic cases, understand where you have clusters, understand where you have community transmission, adapt your response to those needs.”

He said, “we need to learn the lessons that have been offered, move on, because each new context is different. What we do in country X will not be the same, exactly of what you do in country Y, because the context is different. The evolution is different, but there are wonderful lessons we can learn from China.”

For her part, WHO’s Technical lead for Health Emergencies Programme, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, said,
“One of the things I was most touched at, if I could say, in China, was the absolute drive of every single person we met. Every person of the population knew what their role was in this outbreak. They knew what they needed to do. They knew how they, how they had to protect themselves, how they could protect their families and what they needed to do collectively to bring this under control. We've said before, just because you have cases doesn't mean you're going to have clusters. Doesn't mean you're going to have large outbreaks. It doesn't mean that it's going to go out of control. We've seen not only in China, we've seen these fundamentals be being used in Singapore being used in Vietnam, being used in, in many countries. And they're bringing that back down and it comes back down to the fundamental, these fundamental public health measures, and that is something every country can do.”
WHO’s latest available situation report indicates that globally there are 93,090 confirmed cases and 3,198 deaths.
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