WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

20-Jul-2020 00:03:52
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed deep concern “about the impact of the virus on indigenous peoples in the Americas, which remains the current epicenter" of the COVID-19 pandemic.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 03:52
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, WHO Headquarters

20 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"Although COVID-19 is a risk for all indigenous peoples globally, WHO is deeply concerned about the impact of the virus on indigenous peoples in the Americas, which remains the current epicentre of the pandemic. As of the 6th of July, more than 70,000 cases have been reported among indigenous peoples in the Americas, and more than 2,000 deaths. Most recently, at least 6 cases have been reported among the Nahua people, who live in the Peruvian Amazon.”
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"One of the key tools for suppressing transmission in indigenous communities – and all communities – is contact tracing. No country can get control of its epidemic if it doesn’t know where the virus is. As we have said many times, so-called lockdown measures can help to reduce transmission, but they cannot completely stop it. Contact tracing is essential for finding and isolating cases and identifying and quarantining their contacts."
6. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"I think what we're starting to see is a continued acceleration of transmission in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and I think that has to be taken very, very seriously. South Africa may unfortunately be a precursor. It may be a warning for what will happen in the rest of Africa. So, I think this isn't just a wake-up call for South Africa, this really is... We need to take what is happening in Africa very, very seriously. Many of those countries exist in the midst of fragility and conflict, many of them need external help and support."
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"What we are hearing now are changes in policies from many governments, who are applying the use of masks as part of a comprehensive strategy, particularly in areas where you have active transmission and particularly in areas where you cannot do physical distancing. So, what we're hearing quite a lot about is the use of masks in shops, the use of the masks in public transportation and things like that. So again, we support the use of masks as one of the tools that can be put in place, however, it is not a substitute for other public health measures that also must be in place."
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General, Emergency Response, World Health Organization (WHO):
"So, it's challenging in the context of COVID because the capital city in Kinshasa, many people are focusing on COVID-19. So, making sure that they don't downplay Ebola is extremely important. We need also from the national side to scale up operations in all areas."
12. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The worrying aspects of this response is there have been cases in 21 health areas across seven health zones. So, while the numbers are very low, the disease is quite dispersed and five or seven of those health zones have had cases in the last four days, which means the disease is active, it's not old. So, what we have is active disease in five health zones across a wide geographic area. Again, worrying is that there are still nine cases who are still in the community and there are real challenges in terms of community engagement and convincing people to come for care in Ebola treatment centres."
14. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
STORYLINE
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today (20 Jul) expressed deep concern “about the impact of the virus on indigenous peoples in the Americas, which remains the current epicentre of the pandemic.”

Dr Tedros said that “as of the 6th of July, more than 70,000 cases have been reported among indigenous peoples in the Americas, and more than 2,000 deaths. Most recently, at least 6 cases have been reported among the Nahua people, who live in the Peruvian Amazon.”

He said contact tracing is “one of the key tools for suppressing transmission in indigenous communities,” and stressed that “so-called lockdown measures can help to reduce transmission, but they cannot completely stop it. Contact tracing is essential for finding and isolating cases and identifying and quarantining their contacts."

The Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, said there is “a continued acceleration of transmission in a number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” and added that “we need to take what is happening in Africa very, very seriously. Many of those countries exist in the midst of fragility and conflict, many of them need external help and support."

WHO’s COVID-19 Technical Lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, said, “many governments” are now applying the use of masks “as part of a comprehensive strategy, particularly in areas where you have active transmission and particularly in areas where you cannot do physical distancing.”

She expressed support for the use of masks “as one of the tools that can be put in place, however, it is not a substitute for other public health measures that also must be in place."

For his part, WHO’s Assistant Director-Genera for Emergency Response, Ibrahima Socé Fall, said combatting Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) “is challenging in the context of COVID because the capital city in Kinshasa, many people are focusing on COVID-19. So, making sure that they don't downplay Ebola is extremely important. We need also from the national side to scale up operations in all areas."

In that regard, Ryan said, “the worrying aspects of this response is there have been cases in 21 health areas across seven health zones. So, while the numbers are very low, the disease is quite dispersed and five or seven of those health zones have had cases in the last four days, which means the disease is active, it's not old. So, what we have is active disease in five health zones across a wide geographic area. Again, worrying is that there are still nine cases who are still in the community and there are real challenges in terms of community engagement and convincing people to come for care in Ebola treatment centres."

According to the latest WHO COVID-19 situation report, there have been 14,043,176 confirmed cases worldwide, resulting in 597,583 confirmed deaths.
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