WHO / DRC EBOLA COVID-19 UPDATE

03-May-2021 00:05:03
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated all involved in bringing an end to the 12th Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and stressed the need for continued vigilance to prevent a return of the disease and in containing other health challenges. WHO
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STORY: WHO / DRC EBOLA COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 5:03
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 3 MAY 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"More cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally in the past two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic. India and Brazil account for more than half of last week’s cases, but there are many other countries all over the world that face a very fragile situation. In India, WHO is providing critical equipment and supplies including oxygen concentrators, lab supplies and mobile field hospitals. We’re also providing advice for people on how to provide care at home for families that are unable to find a hospital bed."
3.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"What is happening in India and Brazil could happen elsewhere unless we all take these public health precautions that WHO has been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic. Vaccines are part of the answer, but they are not the only answer."
5.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Next month, leaders from the G7 countries will gather for what may be the most significant meeting in its history. The G7 countries are the world’s economic and political leaders. They are also home to many of the world’s vaccine producers. We will only solve the vaccine crisis with the leadership of these countries. The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator currently faces a funding gap of 19 billion US dollars, and we estimate that we will need a further 35 to 45 billion dollars next year to vaccinate most adults around the world. The G7 countries could mobilize a substantial portion of these funds themselves and lead a global effort to accelerate vaccination around the world."
7.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Even the provisions in the TRIPS agreement were meant to use IP waiver for emergency conditions. And the level of emergency we are in now is unprecedented. So, the question again, I repeat, is if we cannot use it now, when can we use it? So, we hope the global leaders will realize this and agree to use all means at hand."
9.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
10.SOUNDBITE (English) Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom:
"Now, based on ability to pay, and that's a formula that takes into account national income, current wealth and benefits from the resumption of trade, America would pay 27 percent of the costs. Europe 23 percent, the U.K. five percent, Japan six percent. Korea and Australia, who will attend the G7 and Canada, two percent each. And I say to the G7, the forum that brings together the world's richest countries, you have the power and the ability to pay for nearly two thirds of the costs and secure a historic breakthrough by agreeing an equitable, burden sharing formula that could cover global health provision."
11.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
12.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub:
"When we look at the interruption in supply for the current period as a result of the need to redirect doses in India, there's about 20 million doses of vaccine that was procured from the Serum Institute of India that was shipped around the world to countries outside of India, and they've now all used their first doses. So, what we're trying urgently to do is ensure that we can close the gap, first of all, to get another 20 million doses to those countries so they can get their second doses into those populations. And then, of course, we need to deepen the coverage. Even that will only reach a very, very small proportion of the population. But the first goal is to try and ensure we can get those additional doses. So, the million doses that were announced today by Sweden is extremely important."
13.Wide shot, podium with speakers in press room
14.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Earlier today, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced the end of the most recent Ebola outbreak, three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu. I congratulate the government, health workers, communities and all WHO staff who were involved in the response. This has only been possible thanks to a concerted, comprehensive and consistent approach, using vaccines and therapeutics alongside proven public health measures, with empowered and engaged communities."
15.Med shot, WHO Seal on a wall
STORYLINE
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated all involved in bringing an end to the 12th Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and stressed the need for continued vigilance to prevent a return of the disease and in containing other health challenges.

"Earlier today, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced the end of the most recent Ebola outbreak, three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu,” said Dr Tedros. “I congratulate the government, health workers, communities and all WHO staff who were involved in the response. This has only been possible thanks to a concerted, comprehensive and consistent approach, using vaccines and therapeutics alongside proven public health measures, with empowered and engaged communities."

This latest Ebola outbreak started in North Kivu in February, coming nine months after an earlier outbreak in the same province was declared over. It was the country’s fourth in under three years.

Dr Tedros said the return earlier this year of the virus underscored the persistent health threats that people in North Kivu face, and the need for all involved in promoting and protecting public health to remain vigilant in the face of Ebola, as well as COVID-19, measles, cholera and other challenges confronting communities, all within a difficult climate marked by violence.

In the latest outbreak, now declared over, 11 confirmed cases and one probable case, six deaths and six recoveries were recorded in four health zones since 7 February. Genome sequencing results found that the first case detected was linked to the earlier outbreak, but the infection’s source is yet to be determined.

The response was coordinated by the Provincial Department of Health in collaboration with WHO and partners. WHO had nearly 60 experts on the ground and as soon as the outbreak was declared helped local workers to trace contacts, provide treatment, engage communities and vaccinate nearly 2000 people at high risk, including over 500 frontline workers.

While this latest outbreak is over, there is a need for continued vigilance and maintaining a strong surveillance system as potential flare-ups are possible in coming months. It is equally important to keep improving infection prevention and control in health facilities to prevent all infectious diseases, and to keep supporting Ebola survivors through dedicated rehabilitation programmes. Such actions must be supported by dedicated efforts to improve the persistent challenges posed by insecurity and armed violence in the North Kivu region.

Dr Tedros was speaking during a regular press conference on COVID-19, where he warned that the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator currently faces a funding gap of 19 billion US dollars.

“We estimate that we will need a further 35 to 45 billion dollars next year to vaccinate most adults around the world,” said Dr Tedros, calling on the G7 countries to “mobilize a substantial portion of these funds themselves and lead a global effort to accelerate vaccination around the world."
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