WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

27-Jul-2020 00:04:41
Six months after the WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today said, "almost 16 million cases have now been reported to WHO, and more than 640,000 deaths. And the pandemic continues to accelerate." WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 04:41
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 JULY 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – RECENT - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Various shots, exterior, WHO Headquarters

27 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):
"This Thursday marks six months since WHO declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern. This is the sixth time a global health emergency has been declared under the International Health Regulations, but it is easily the most severe. Almost 16 million cases have now been reported to WHO, and more than 640,000 deaths. And the pandemic continues to accelerate. In the past 6 weeks, the total number of cases has roughly doubled."
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"When I declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on the 30th of January – the highest level of alarm under international law – there were less than 100 cases outside of China, and no deaths. As required under the International Health Regulations, I will reconvene the Emergency Committee later this week to re-evaluate the pandemic and advise me accordingly."
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 is clear is that countries that have implemented control measures have suppressed the virus. And when those measures to suppress the virus are lifted, the virus returns. And I think what is clear is that pressure on the virus successfully pushes the numbers down, release pressure on the virus and the numbers can creep back up. So, whether we're dealing with second peaks within the first wave or second waves, in some senses is not the right question to ask. The question to ask is how much pressure do you have on the virus?"
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical lead, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"What we're going to have to figure out and I think what we're all going to have to figure out together is what our new normal looks like. Our new normal includes physical distancing from others. Our new normal includes wearing masks where appropriate. Our new normal includes us knowing where this virus is each and every day, where we live, where we work, where we want to travel. And that's going to be part of how we move forward with this, finding the balance between keeping the virus transmission low and resuming normal activities."
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“And we do believe that it is possible to identify and to minimize the risks associated with international travel. And that begins, obviously that's between governments in terms of what the policies are for the movement of people between one country and another. And then it is about how do you de-risk or how do you take the risk out of that process by ensuring that sick people don't travel, by having the proper health checks along the way, that when people arrive in a second country that they're monitoring their symptoms or whatever they're implementing, whatever the rules of that country are. It is difficult to have a one size fits all."
12. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"It is tough on people right now because as countries, like everybody else in the world, move through this period of continued uncertainty, it is difficult to get those travel measures absolutely right. You can open up and then have to shut down, and then open up and have to shut down. And some people say, well better to stay shut because that's more consistent, but it's also not making any progress. So how do you make progress with opening up national and international economies? How do you do that in a way that's least risky? But how do you do that in a way that you can pull back if you need to slow down or reverse? And that's the conundrum we're facing both in terms of national travel and international travel at the moment."
16. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"New research led by WHO and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that together we have achieved the global target set in 2000 to reduce the prevalence of hepatitis B infections in children under five years of age to less than one percent by 2020. This landmark achievement means we will dramatically reduce the number of cases of liver cancer and cirrhosis in future generations."
18. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
STORYLINE
Six months after the WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today (27 Jul) said, "almost 16 million cases have now been reported to WHO, and more than 640,000 deaths. And the pandemic continues to accelerate."

Dr Tedros noted that in these past 6 weeks, “the total number of cases has roughly doubled."

He recalled that when the PHEIC was declared on 30 January “there were less than 100 cases outside of China, and no deaths.”

The Emergency Committee of the WHO will be reconvened later this week to re-evaluate the pandemic and advise the Director-General.

The Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, said, “countries that have implemented control measures have suppressed the virus. And when those measures to suppress the virus are lifted, the virus returns. And I think what is clear is that pressure on the virus successfully pushes the numbers down, release pressure on the virus and the numbers can creep back up.”

Ryan said, “whether we're dealing with second peaks within the first wave or second waves, in some senses is not the right question to ask. The question to ask is how much pressure do you have on the virus?"

WHO’s COVID-19 Technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, said, “our new normal includes physical distancing from others. Our new normal includes wearing masks where appropriate. Our new normal includes us knowing where this virus is each and every day, where we live, where we work, where we want to travel. And that's going to be part of how we move forward with this, finding the balance between keeping the virus transmission low and resuming normal activities."

Turning to international travel, Ryan said, “it is possible to identify and to minimize the risks” through policies for the movement of people between one country and another.

Ryan said, “it is tough on people right now because as countries, like everybody else in the world, move through this period of continued uncertainty, it is difficult to get those travel measures absolutely right. You can open up and then have to shut down, and then open up and have to shut down. And some people say, well better to stay shut because that's more consistent, but it's also not making any progress. So how do you make progress with opening up national and international economies? How do you do that in a way that's least risky? But how do you do that in a way that you can pull back if you need to slow down or reverse? And that's the conundrum we're facing both in terms of national travel and international travel at the moment."

Dr Tedros announced that “new research led by WHO and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that together we have achieved the global target set in 2000 to reduce the prevalence of hepatitis B infections in children under five years of age to less than one percent by 2020.”

He said, “this landmark achievement means we will dramatically reduce the number of cases of liver cancer and cirrhosis in future generations."

According to the latest WHO COVID-19 situation report, 15,785,641 confirmed cases have been reported, resulting in confirmed 640,016 deaths.
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