WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

30-Apr-2021 00:04:13
WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said he was encouraged by the demonstration of international support for India in the face of its “severe” COVID-19 crisis, but warned that other countries were also still experiencing “intense transmission” and Brazil is “one of the countries that has been hit hardest” by the pandemic. WHO
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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 4:13
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 30 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Aerial shot, WHO headquarters exterior

30 APRIL 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Programme (WHO):
“In the last couple of weeks, much of the world’s attention has focused on India. And although that country remains in the grip of a severe crisis, we’re encouraged by the demonstration of international support for India. At the same time, we must remember that many other countries all over the world are still experiencing intense transmission. As you know, Brazil is one of the countries that has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
4. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Programme (WHO):
"Since the beginning of November, Brazil has experienced an acute crisis, with increasing cases, hospitalizations and deaths, including among younger people. During April, intensive care units have been at almost full capacity across the country. In total, Brazil has reported more than 14 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 400,000 deaths."
6. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Programme (WHO):
"Cases have now declined for four weeks in a row, and hospitalizations and deaths are also declining. This is good news, and we hope this trend continues. But the pandemic has taught us that no country can ever let down its guard. Brazil has a long and proud history in public health, with three decades of investments in strengthening primary health care and progress towards universal health coverage. But the pandemic has hit Brazil’s health system hard and threatens to unravel those gains. PAHO and WHO are working closely with the government of Brazil to respond to urgent needs for medicines and other supplies, such as diagnostics, oxygen and masks, and we have helped to source tens of millions of dollars worth of medicines which the government can now procure.
8. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ciro Ugarte, Director of Health Emergencies, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO):
“The COVID-19 pandemic has become more complex, not only in Brazil but in all of South America. Today, most of the countries in the Southern Cone and the Andean region are going through new peaks of transmission. Countries like Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Guyana are reporting a dramatic rise in infections, and their health services are overwhelmed. Infections in Colombia will soon reach the high levels that they had in January. And in intensive care units, beds are running out in major metropolitan cities like Bogota and Medellin.”
10. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ciro Ugarte, Director of Health Emergencies, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO):
"These surges in cases have also led to an increase in hospitalizations of younger people. PAHO is orienting the countries to plan on coping with increases in the consumption of critical inputs such as oxygen, intubation, drugs, and personal protective equipment. We are also advising on improving protection of the health care workers."
12. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Ciro Ugarte, Director of Health Emergencies, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO):
"COVAX has delivered 7.3 million doses of vaccine to Latin America and the Caribbean so far. But the need for vaccines is much greater. Many countries cannot afford large bilateral deals with producers and are relying on COVAX for vaccines. But the outlook is not optimistic for increased supply soon."
14. Wide shot, WHO officials at press conference
STORYLINE
WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said he was encouraged by the demonstration of international support for India in the face of its “severe” COVID-19 crisis, but warned that other countries were also still experiencing “intense transmission” and Brazil is “one of the countries that has been hit hardest” by the pandemic.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva today (30 Apr), Dr. Tedros said, since the beginning of November, Brazil has experienced an “acute crisis, with increasing cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” He said intensive care units have been at almost full capacity in April across the country which has reported more than 14 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 400,000 deaths.

The WHO chief said cases have now declined for hour weeks in a row, and hospitalizations and deaths are also declining and hoped this trend continues. However he stressed that the pandemic has “taught us that no country can ever let down its guard.” He added, “Brazil has a long and proud history in public health, with three decades of investments in strengthening primary health care and progress towards universal health coverage. But the pandemic has hit Brazil’s health system hard and threatens to unravel those gains. PAHO and WHO are working closely with the government of Brazil to respond to urgent needs for medicines and other supplies, such as diagnostics, oxygen and masks, and we have helped to source tens of millions of dollars worth of medicines which the government can now procure.”

Dr Ciro Ugarte, Director of Health Emergencies at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said the COVID-19 pandemic has become more complex, not only in Brazil but in “all of South America.” He said, “Today, most of the countries in the Southern Cone and the Andean region are going through new peaks of transmission. Countries like Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Guyana are reporting a dramatic rise in infections, and their health services are overwhelmed. Infections in Colombia will soon reach the high levels that they had in January. And in intensive care units, beds are running out in major metropolitan cities like Bogota and Medellin.”

Dr Ugarte said the surge in cases has led to an increase in hospitalizations of younger people. He said, “PAHO is orienting the countries to plan on coping with increases in the consumption of critical inputs such as oxygen, intubation, drugs and personal protective equipment. We are also advising on improving protection of the health care workers."

Dr Ugarte said COVAX has delivered 7.3 million doses of vaccine to Latin America and the Caribbean so far, but the need for vaccines is “much greater.” He said many countries cannot afford large bilateral deals with producers and are relying on COVAX for vaccines; “but the outlook is not optimistic for increased supply soon.”
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