WHO / DRC EBOLA

17-Jul-2019 00:03:13
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). WHO
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STORY: WHO / DRC EBOLA
TRT: 3:13
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 17 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
17 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1.Wide shot, press briefing
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Professor Robert Steffen, Chair of the Emergency Committee:
“The Ebola International Emergency meeting has today advised the Director-General to declare a public health emergency of international concern, a PHEIC. What does that mean? This is still a regional emergency and by no way a global threat.”
3.Wide shot, press briefing
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Professor Robert Steffen, Chair of the Emergency Committee:
“First, there is concern about spread of Ebola from Goma, a getaway even though so far no cases where newly infected in this city. Two, there is disappointment that has been a recurrence of intense transmission in Beni, so that the geographical expansion is now some 500 kilometers. Four, the fight is ongoing for a full year now. And lastly the assassination of two Ebola workers demonstrates the continued risks to responders due to security situation.”
5. Wide shot, press briefing
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“As a result of this concern for potential further spread, the Committee recommended that I declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, PHEIC and I have accepted that advice. Our risk assessment remains that the risk of spread in DRC and the region remains very high and the risk of spread outside the region remains low."

FILE – WHO – JUNE 2019, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

7. Various shots, woman getting vaccination

17 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“I emphasize that WHO does not recommend any restrictions on travel or trade which rather than stopping Ebola can actually hamper the fight. Closing borders could have disastrous consequences for the lives and livelihoods of the people who cross the border every day for trade, education or to visit relatives.”

FILE – WHO – JUNE 2019, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

9. Wide shot, health worker at work

17 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Now is the time for the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, not to impose punitive and counterproductive restrictions that will only serve to isolate them.”

FILE – WHO – JUNE 2019, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

11. Wide shot, health worker at work
STORYLINE
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today (17 Jul) declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

The declaration followed a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola Virus Disease in the DRC. The Committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

This was the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018.

SOUNDBITE (English) Professor Robert Steffen, Chair of the Emergency Committee:
“The Ebola International Emergency meeting has today advised the Director-General to declare a public health emergency of international concern, a PHEIC. What does that mean? This is still a regional emergency and by no way a global threat.

The Chairperson also explained the reason for the declaration, despite the collective effort and particularly a tremendous supported by both the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

SOUNDBITE (English) Professor Robert Steffen, Chair of the Emergency Committee:
“First, there is concern about spread of Ebola from Goma, a getaway even though so far no cases where newly infected in this city. Two, there is disappointment that has been a recurrence of intense transmission in Beni, so that the geographical expansion is now some 500 kilometers. Four, the fight is ongoing for a full year now. And lastly the assassination of two Ebola workers demonstrates the continued risks to responders due to security situation.”

The Committee expressed disappointment about delays in funding which have constrained the response. They also reinforced the need to protect livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open. It is essential to avoid the punitive economic consequences of travel and trade restrictions on affected communities.

SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“I emphasize that WHO does not recommend any restrictions on travel or trade which rather than stopping Ebola can actually hamper the fight. Closing borders could have disastrous consequences for the lives and livelihoods of the people who cross the border every day for trade, education or to visit relatives.”

Since it was declared almost a year ago the outbreak has been classified as a level 3 emergency – the most serious – by WHO, triggering the highest level of mobilization from WHO. The UN has also recognized the seriousness of the emergency by activating the Humanitarian System-wide Scale-Up to support the Ebola response.

SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Now is the time for the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, not to impose punitive and counterproductive restrictions that will only serve to isolate them.”
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