WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

07-Jul-2020 00:04:32
"The outbreak is accelerating, and we have clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic,” the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said during a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday in Geneva. WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:32
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 7 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, press briefing
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
"It took 12 weeks for the world to reach 400,000 cases of COVID. Over the weekend, there were more than 400,000 [new] cases across the globe. There have now been 11.4 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 535,000 lives have been lost."
3.Wide shot, press briefing
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
"The outbreak is accelerating, and we have clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic. While the number of deaths appears to have levelled off globally, in reality some countries have made significant progress in reducing the number of deaths, while in other countries deaths are still on the rise."
5.Wide shot, press briefing
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
"But what we've seen in the month of June is an acceleration in the number of cases, and what hasn't accelerated with that yet are the number of deaths. But we know it takes time and there is a lag phase in that. So, some of this may be lag, we may see deaths start to climb again, because we've only really experienced this rapid increase in cases over the last five to six weeks. So, we may see that. So, I don't think it should be a surprise if the deaths start to rise again, it would be very unfortunate, but it may happen. There is an element, certainly, of better care. And again, doctors and nurses and physicians, have really learned how to better manage this case, of simple stuff from oxygen therapy to prone therapy, managing patients."
7.Wide shot, press briefing
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Prof Benedetta Allegranzi, Technical Lead, Infection Prevention & Control Hub and Task Force, WHO:
"So, these are fields of research that are really growing and for which there is some evidence emerging but is not definitive. And therefore, the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out. However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this."
9.Wide shot, press briefing
10.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
"Over the past few months, there has been a lot of discussion about the origins of COVID-19. All preparations have been finalised and WHO experts will be traveling to China this weekend to prepare scientific plans with their Chinese counterparts for identifying the zoonotic source of the disease. The experts will develop the scope and terms of reference for a WHO-led international mission. The mission objective is to advance the understanding of animal hosts for COVID-19 and ascertain how the disease jumped between animals and humans."
11.Wide shot, press briefing
12.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
"So we need to understand what was the track of this virus from the wild animal kingdom directly into humans, directly through farmed animals, directly into a market. One market? Two? How many? So, understanding that story, understanding that the narrative and the pathway by which this virus entered the human population is extremely important. But it's not always a straightforward process of being able to get that answer. And I know that sounds obtuse, but there are many dead ends when you study these things."
13.Wide shot, press briefing
14.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
"WHO is deeply concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the global response to HIV. A new WHO survey showed access to HIV medicines has been significantly curtailed as result of the pandemic. 73 countries have reported that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral medicines (ARVs). To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on treatment access, WHO recommends all countries prescribe ARVs for longer periods of time."
15.Wide shot, press briefing
STORYLINE
"The outbreak is accelerating, and we have clearly not reached the peak of the pandemic,” the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said during a press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday (7 Jul) in Geneva.

"It took 12 weeks for the world to reach 400,000 cases of COVID. Over the weekend, there were more than 400,000 [new] cases across the globe,” said WHO’s Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

According to WHO, there have now been 11.4 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 535,000 lives lost to the disease.

“While the number of deaths appears to have levelled off globally, in reality some countries have made significant progress in reducing the number of deaths, while in other countries deaths are still on the rise," said Dr Tedros.

Lower number of deaths maybe due to a lag and “we may see deaths start to climb again, because we've only really experienced this rapid increase in cases over the last five to six weeks,” explained Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, adding “I don't think it should be a surprise if the deaths start to rise again.”

Responding to reports by a growing number of scientists claiming that the novel coronavirus is airborne, WHO’s Technical Lead on Infection Prevention & Control Hub and Task Force, prof Benedetta Allegranzi said “the possibility of airborne transmission in public settings, especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out. However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this."

WHO so far maintains that the virus is mainly passed between people via droplets expelled by an infected person when coughing or sneezing which are then inhaled by persons in immediate vicinity. New reports, however, dispute this theory and claim that the virus can be also present in aerosols – extremely small droplets which can linger in the air for longer periods and thus infect people who inhale them long after they are expelled by a carrier.

Dr Tedros also announced that the WHO is sending a team of experts “to China this weekend to prepare scientific plans with their Chinese counterparts for identifying the zoonotic source of the disease.”

According to WHO’s chief, the experts will develop the scope and terms of reference for a WHO-led international mission to determine the origin of the disease.

“The mission objective is to advance the understanding of animal hosts for COVID-19 and ascertain how the disease jumped between animals and humans," said Dr Tedros.

He also expressed deep concern “about the impact of COVID-19 on the global response to HIV.”

A new WHO survey showed access to HIV medicines has been “significantly curtailed” as result of the pandemic, with 73 countries reporting that they are at risk of stock-outs of antiretroviral medicines (ARVs).

“To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on treatment access, WHO recommends all countries prescribe ARVs for longer periods of time," said Dr Tedros.
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