INDIA / WHO REPRESENTATIVE INTERVIEW

03-May-2021 00:02:33
The World Health Organization’s Representative in India, Dr Roderico Ofrin, said the country’s COVID-19 crisis is multi-factorial and stressed the need to be “ahead of the game” in terms of response and preparedness as the “tools are the same.” UN NEWS / UNIFEED
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STORY: INDIA / WHO REPRESENTATIVE INTERVIEW
TRT: 2:33
SOURCE: UN NEWS / UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 MAY 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN flag

03 MAY 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Roderico Ofrin, Representative in India, World Health Organization (WHO):
“I think this is this is an important message that we have a responsibility in curbing the spread. And more than the variants, the original SARS-COV2 is still the dominant virus. So in that sense, these measures are still very valid and continue to be effective, so that that needs to be done.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

3. Wide shot, UN flag

03 MAY 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Roderico Ofrin, Representative in India, World Health Organization (WHO):
“I think the difference is in terms of scale. The pattern of how this has spread, of the waves whether it is in Europe or the US was fairly similar, but the scale is very different. The density of population is probably also a factor for this and that's why if you notice, as you have said, the spikes are in the metros.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

5. Wide shot, UN flag

03 MAY 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Roderico Ofrin, Representative in India, World Health Organization (WHO):
“There is no problem with keep on preparing. It is a cycle. We have to see – as an emergency person this is what we always say: It is a spiral of preparedness, readiness, response and recovery, preparedness, readiness, response and recovery. It's a whole cycle. You don’t stop. Especially if we have seen that the virus is changing. It has probably adapted better than people in that sense. But we have to be ahead of the game. I think that's important point because we know how to deal with it. The tools are the same.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

7. Wide shot, UN flag

03 MAY 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Roderico Ofrin, Representative in India, World Health Organization (WHO):
“India is one of the countries that does mass immunisation very, very well. Even if you look at how the US, when they started, they were not used to – I was talking to US colleagues – and they're not used to doing mass vaccination campaigns because what they do this is more of a routine service. It is in this scale that India has got not just the tradition or history, but it has an operational mechanism around it and that's why the launch on January 16 was just very well done.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

9. Wide shot, UN flag
STORYLINE
The World Health Organization’s Representative in India, Dr Roderico Ofrin, said the country’s COVID-19 crisis is multi-factorial and stressed the need to be “ahead of the game” in terms of response and preparedness as the “tools are the same.”

In an interview today (03 May) with UN News, Ofrin said a major factor in the current crisis India is facing was the fact that the virus was given the chance to keep transmitting after the country had re-opened some time in February and there was not much compliance with COVID-19 precautions.

The WHO Representative said there was some evidence that of more contagious variants, but the original SARS-COV2 “is still the dominant virus.” He noted that the same measures recommended before to curb transmission are “still very valid and continue to be effective.”

Ofrin said the current outbreak in India is different to that outbreaks in Europe and the US “in terms of scale.” He said, “The pattern of how this has spread, of the waves whether it is in Europe or the US was fairly similar, but the scale is very different. The density of population is probably also a factor for this and that's why if you notice, as you have said, the spikes are in the metros.”

The WHO Representative underscored that the virus has proved to be very adaptable and cannot be predicted by models. He stressed the need to keep preparing until the pandemic is over.

Ofrin said, “There is no problem with keep on preparing. It is a cycle. We have to see – as an emergency person this is what we always say: It is a spiral of preparedness, readiness, response and recovery, preparedness, readiness, response and recovery. It's a whole cycle. You don't stop. Especially if we have seen that the virus is changing. It has probably adapted better than people in that sense. But we have to be ahead of the game. I think that's important point because we know how to deal with it. The tools are the same.”

Ofrin said these tools include consistent testing, contact tracing, early treatment, wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping physical distance, as well as the importance of vaccination. He also underscored the need to engage the public.

The Who Representative lauded India’s ability to carry out mass immunisation campaigns. He said the country not only has the “the tradition or history, but it has an operational mechanism around it and that's why the launch on January 16 was just very well done.”

Ofrin stressed, however, that there are multiple factors also on how to curb the spread of the virus, and vaccination is just one of them. He added that as the country works to achieve heard immunity through vaccination, people must continue to follow COVID-appropriate behaviours.
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