WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

24-Nov-2021 00:04:36
WHO’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on all governments to “implement a comprehensive and tailored approach of public health and social measures” to prevent COVID-19 transmission and “take the pressure off health systems and save lives." WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:36
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: L24 NOVEMBER 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, press briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"Last week, more than 60 per cent of all reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 globally were once again in Europe. The sheer number of cases is translating to unsustainable pressure on health systems and exhausted health workers. In many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions. Vaccines save lives, but they do not fully prevent transmission. Data suggest that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 per cent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 per cent."
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"If you are vaccinated, you have a much lower risk of severe disease and death, but you are still at risk of being infected, and of infecting others. We cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and to infecting someone else who could die. That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated space inside. And we continue to call on all governments to implement a comprehensive and tailored approach of public health and social measures to prevent transmission, take the pressure off health systems and save lives."
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"While Europe is again the epicentre of the pandemic, no country or region is out of the woods. It’s important for all countries to surge their capacities now to ensure the right measures are in place to avert the worst consequences of any future waves."
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
"The ongoing chaos of this pandemic only underlines why the world needs an ironclad global agreement to set the rules of the game for pandemic preparedness and response. This will be the subject of next week’s Special Session of the World Health Assembly. The world has treaties to manage other threats; surely countries can agree on the need for a binding pact on the threat of pandemics. The Special Session of the World Health Assembly is therefore a unique opportunity, an opportunity for a generational agreement that transcends media cycles and election cycles. I’m encouraged that there is now a broad consensus for the need for such an instrument. We will not achieve everything at the Special Session, but I hope it will serve as a launching pad for the development of an international agreement."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Bruce Aylward, Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Head of the ACT-Accelerator Coordination Hub:
"The issue will eventually be less of a supply side issue but really a prioritization issue and making sure that we are solving the problem of finding the people who have no doses before we prioritize those who already have two doses. And remember, this is not a phenomenon just of low-income countries. Also, in much of Europe, where we are seeing the current outbreak, much of that is being driven by the unvaccinated, of course. And many of the people ending up in ICUs who are dying are unvaccinated folk. So, the first priority everywhere has got to be reaching the unvaccinated, most highly vulnerable populations. Eventually, we will need to get the boosters to sustain immunity, it looks more and more but at this point there is still an awful lot of unvaccinated people out there."
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
STORYLINE
WHO’s chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on all governments to “implement a comprehensive and tailored approach of public health and social measures” to prevent COVID-19 transmission and “take the pressure off health systems and save lives."

Speaking to reporters today (24 Nov) in Geneva, Tedros said, "Last week, more than 60 per cent of all reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 globally were once again in Europe. The sheer number of cases is translating to unsustainable pressure on health systems and exhausted health workers.”

He continued, “in many countries and communities, we are concerned about a false sense of security that vaccines have ended the pandemic, and that people who are vaccinated do not need to take any other precautions.”

The WHO’s chief reiterated, “vaccines save lives, but they do not fully prevent transmission. Data suggest that before the arrival of the Delta variant, vaccines reduced transmission by about 60 per cent. With Delta, that has dropped to about 40 per cent.”

Tedros also said, "if you are vaccinated, you have a much lower risk of severe disease and death, but you are still at risk of being infected, and of infecting others.”

He reiterated, “we cannot say this clearly enough: even if you are vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and to infecting someone else who could die. That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated space inside.

Tedros added, "while Europe is again the epicentre of the pandemic, no country or region is out of the woods.”

He highlighted that it is important for all countries to “surge their capacities now to ensure the right measures are in place to avert the worst consequences of any future waves."


"The ongoing chaos of this pandemic only underlines why the world needs an ironclad global agreement to set the rules of the game for pandemic preparedness and response,” said Tedros.
He noted that this will be the subject of next week’s Special Session of the World Health Assembly.

The WHO’s chief said, “The Special Session of the World Health Assembly is therefore a unique opportunity, an opportunity for a generational agreement that transcends media cycles and election cycles.”

He is encouraged that “there is now a broad consensus for the need for such an instrument. We will not achieve everything at the Special Session, but I hope it will serve as a launching pad for the development of an international agreement."

WHO’s Dr Bruce Aylward also spoke to reporters. He said, "the issue will eventually be less of a supply side issue but really a prioritization issue and making sure that we are solving the problem of finding the people who have no doses before we prioritize those who already have two doses.”

He added, “remember, this is not a phenomenon just of low-income countries. Also, in much of Europe, where we are seeing the current outbreak, much of that is being driven by the unvaccinated, of course. And many of the people ending up in ICUs who are dying are unvaccinated folk.”

Aylward continued, “the first priority everywhere has got to be reaching the unvaccinated, most highly vulnerable populations. Eventually, we will need to get the boosters to sustain immunity, it looks more and more but at this point there is still an awful lot of unvaccinated people out there."
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