WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

23-Mar-2020 00:04:11
“We continue to hear alarming reports from around the world of large numbers of infections among health workers,” WHO's chief, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, told reporters in Geneva, adding in “If we don't prioritize protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick.” WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT:4:11
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 23 MARCH 2020, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1.Exterior shot, WHO Headquarters
2.Wide shot, press room
3.Med shot, Tedros talking
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second hundred thousand cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases.”
5.Cutaway, reporters
6.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“Countries are doing their best to suppress infection and take pressure out of the epidemic and more importantly off the health system. But we do know that that is very difficult to sustain. And therefore, how are we going to turn that around, and the DG said it, how do we move from what is the defensive mode into an offence mode? How do we move from trying to avoid the virus, to actually going after the virus?”
7.Med shot, Dr Van Kerkhove speaking
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“To win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact.”
9.Med shot, Dr Van Kerkhove speaking
10.SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We continue to hear alarming reports from around the world of large numbers of infections among health workers. Even if we do everything else right, If we don't prioritize protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick.”
11.Wide shot, podium
12.SOUNDBITE (English) Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“As you know, WHO has been working hard with many partners to rationalise and prioritize the use of personal protective equipment. Addressing the global shortage of these life-saving tools means addressing every part of the supply chain from raw materials to finished products.”
13.Med shot, Dr Ryan speaking
14.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“In my more than 25 years responding to outbreaks, I have found African countries and particularly communities in Africa to be exceptionally resilient, hugely creative, and capable of mounting responses right from the community level up.”
15.Med shot, Dr Ryan speaking
16.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“The UN system is fully activated to support countries in Africa. In preparation, we have established emergency diagnostic capacities in every country, we have sent personal protective equipment to nearly every country, in Africa. Our country officers are deployed in all countries in Africa.”
17.Wide shot, podium
18.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO:
“I believe a decision will be made very soon regarding the future of the games. The decision to postpone the games would be purely a decision of the Japanese government and the IOC. But we are obviously in the process of offering them risk advice. As we've said previously, we have every confidence that the Japanese government may proceed, or not proceed with any games should there be dangers to athletes or spectators.”
19.Wide shot, press room
STORYLINE
The number of COVID-19 cases globally are is growing exponentially, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second hundred thousand cases and just four days for the third 100,000 cases,” WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said to reporters in Geneva on Monday (23 Mar).

“Countries are doing their best to suppress infection and take pressure out of the epidemic and more importantly off the health system,” added Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, adding “we do know that that is very difficult to sustain.”

As of March 23, WHO recorded 334 981 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in 190 countries. 14 652 people have died from COVID-19 so far.

At the press conference, Dr Tedros said “to win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics – testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact.”

He also said that the WHO continues to “hear alarming reports from around the world of large numbers of infections among health workers,” adding that “if we don't prioritize protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick.”

Director-General underlined the WHO “has been working hard with many partners to rationalise and prioritize the use of personal protective equipment. Addressing the global shortage of these life-saving tools means addressing every part of the supply chain from raw materials to finished products.”

As for the spread of the coronavirus throughout the African continent, Dr Ryan, who has some 25 years of experience in outbreak response said “I have found African countries and particularly communities in Africa to be exceptionally resilient, hugely creative and capable of mounting responses right from the community level up.”

He also said “the UN system is fully activated to support countries in Africa. In preparation, we have established emergency diagnostic capacities in every country, we have sent personal protective equipment to nearly every country, in Africa. Our country officers are deployed in all countries in Africa.”
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