WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

20-May-2020 00:04:23
“There are no shortcuts” on the road to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, said WHO’s Michael Ryan at the press briefing on Wednesday. “We wish to be as efficient as possible, but still complete every step that's necessary in delivering a safe and efficacious vaccine,” he added. WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:23
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 20 MAY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The resolution sets out a clear roadmap of the critical activities and actions that must be taken to sustain and accelerate the response at the national and international levels. It assigns responsibilities for both the WHO and its member states and captures the comprehensive whole of government and whole of society approach we have been calling for since the beginning of the outbreak. If implemented, this would ensure a more coherent, coordinated and fairer response that saves both lives and livelihoods.”
3. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“COVID-19 is not the only challenge the world is facing. The climate crisis is causing increasingly strong storms, abnormal weather patterns and catastrophic shocks. Super cyclone Amphan is one of the biggest in years and is currently bearing down on Bangladesh and India. Our thoughts are with those affected and we recognize that like with COVID-19 there is a serious threat to life, particularly the poorest and most marginalized communities.”
5. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“At this stage, hydroxychloroquine nor chloroquine have as yet been found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 or in the prophylaxis against the coming down with the disease. And in fact, the opposite, warnings have been issued by many authorities regarding the potential side effects of the drug. And many countries have limited it's use to that of clinical trials, or during clinical trials are under the supervision of clinicians in a hospital setting. That's specifically for COVID-19 because of a number of potential side effects that have occurred and could occur.”
7. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“There are no shortcuts here. There are things we can do faster and better. There are things we can do in parallel, but there are no shortcuts on safety. There are no shortcuts on efficacy. It's really, really important that we, when we say we wish to go faster, we wish to be as efficient as possible, but still complete every step that's necessary in delivering a safe and efficacious vaccine.”
9. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“We need to track the infection, the virus itself, as it spreads around the world. We need to track its transmission dynamics to ensure that we understand how it's transmitting, where it's transmitting. We need to track the genetic sequences of the virus to ensure that the virus is not evolving in a way that's negative. Viruses can involve in two ways that can evolve. They can evolve positively and becoming less pathogenic, and they can involve negatively and becoming more of a virulent or pathogenic. And we also have to track the clinical syndrome to be able to check whether any changes in the virus are resulting in any differences in the clinical attack rate or clinical fatality or clinical syndromes that are presenting.”
11. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“I do think as the tourism sector opens up, and it's a very important sector for many countries that clients and customers are going to not just look for the levels of comfort and levels of, everyone wants to get away. Everyone is on business travel. It needs a safe place to stay as well. So, I think clients are going to respond to those companies who provide them with an environment that's safe, that's managed, that's still comfortable. It's still possible to have fun. It's still possible to relax. It's still possible to do business.”
13. Wide shot, Tedros and collages at the panel in press room
STORYLINE
A day after the World Health Assembly adopted a landmark resolution on COVID-19, the Head of the World Health Organization told the media in Geneva that “the resolution sets out a clear roadmap of the critical activities and actions that must be taken to sustain and accelerate the response at the national and international levels.”

The resolution also “captures the comprehensive whole of government and whole of society approach we have been calling for since the beginning of the outbreak. If implemented, this would ensure a more coherent, coordinated and fairer response that saves both lives and livelihoods,” said Tedros.

WHO’s Director-General also said “COVID-19 is not the only challenge the world is facing. The climate crisis is causing increasingly strong storms, abnormal weather patterns and catastrophic shocks. Super cyclone Amphan is one of the biggest in years and is currently bearing down on Bangladesh and India. Our thoughts are with those affected and we recognize that like with COVID-19 there is a serious threat to life, particularly the poorest and most marginalized communities.”

On the use of malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in treating the COVID-19 patients, the Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme Michael Ryan said the drugs have yet to be “found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19 or in the prophylaxis against the coming down with the disease.”

“In fact,” Ryan said, “warnings have been issued by many authorities regarding the potential side effects of the drug. And many countries have limited it's use to that of clinical trials, or during clinical trials are under the supervision of clinicians in a hospital setting.”

Speaking on the global efforts to find a working vaccine for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which is causing COVID-19, the Ryan said “There are no shortcuts here” and that “it's really, really important that we, when we say we wish to go faster, we wish to be as efficient as possible, but still complete every step that's necessary in delivering a safe and efficacious vaccine.”

“We need to track the infection, the virus itself, as it spreads around the world. We need to track its transmission dynamics to ensure that we understand how it's transmitting, where it's transmitting,” Ryan explained. “And we also have to track the clinical syndrome to be able to check whether any changes in the virus are resulting in any differences in the clinical attack rate or clinical fatality or clinical syndromes that are presenting,” he added.
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