Author Topic: WHO press conferences  (Read 130 times)


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WHO press conferences
« on: January 29, 2020, 09:41:09 am »
Live broadcast - WHO press conference on new Coronavirus - Today at 17h Geneva time
WHO will hold a press conference today at 15h Geneva time in the UN building in Geneva
on the situation regarding New Coronavirus

Speakers will be:

• Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme
• Dr Maria VAN KERKHOVE, Head a.i., Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis, WHO

The press conference will be broadcast live on WHO Twitter account: @WHO
Please send your questions using: #AskWHO

Speakers will be:
• Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme
• Dr Maria VAN KERKHOVE, Head a.i., Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis, WHO

Place: Salle de Press III
« Last Edit: February 24, 2020, 04:36:15 pm by gsgs »

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Re: WHO press conferences
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2020, 04:36:50 pm »

WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 24 February 2020
Today, 09:20 PM
24 February 2020

Good afternoon everyone. Let me start, as always, with the latest numbers.
As of 6am Geneva time this morning, China has reported a total of 77,362 cases of COVID-19 to WHO, including 2618 deaths.
In the past 24 hours, China has reported 416 new confirmed cases, and 150 deaths.
We’re encouraged by the continued decline in cases in China.
Earlier today the WHO-China joint mission concluded its visit and delivered its report.
As you know, the team has traveled to several different provinces, including Wuhan.
The team has made a range of findings about the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of disease and the impact of the measures taken.
They found that the epidemic peaked and plateaued between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February, and has been declining steadily since then.
They have found that there has been no significant change in the DNA of the virus.
They found that the fatality rate is between 2% and 4% in Wuhan, and 0.7% outside Wuhan.
They found that for people with mild disease, recovery time is about two weeks, while people with severe or critical disease recover within three to six weeks.
The team also estimate that the measures taken in China have averted a significant number of cases.
The report contains a wealth of other information, highlights questions for which we still don’t have answers, and includes 22 recommendations.
Dr Bruce Aylward will give more detail tomorrow on behalf of the joint team.
But the key message that should give all countries hope, courage and confidence is that this virus can be contained.
Indeed, there are many countries that have done exactly that.
Outside China, there are now 2074 cases in 28 countries, and 23 deaths.
The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning.
There’s a lot of speculation about whether these increases mean that this epidemic has now become a pandemic.
We understand why people ask that question.
WHO has already declared a public health emergency of international concern – our highest level of alarm – when there were less than 100 cases outside China, and 8 cases of human-to-human transmission.
Our decision about whether to use the word “pandemic” to describe an epidemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes and the impact it has on the whole of society.
For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death.
Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely, it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet.
So how should we describe the current situation?
What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world, affecting countries in different ways and requiring a tailored response.
The sudden increase in new cases is certainly very concerning.
I have spoken consistently about the need for facts, not fear.
Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear.
This is not the time to focus on what word we use.
That will not prevent a single infection today, or save a single life today.
This is a time for all countries, communities, families and individuals to focus on preparing.
We do not live in a binary, black-and-white world.
It’s not either-or. We must focus on containment, while doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every country must make its own risk assessment for its own context. WHO is also continuing to do its own risk assessment and is monitoring the evolution of the epidemic around the clock.
But there are at least three priorities.
First, all countries must prioritize protecting health workers.
Second, we must engage communities to protect people who are most at risk of severe disease, particularly the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.
And third, we must protect countries that are the most vulnerable, by doing our utmost to contain epidemics in countries with the capacity to do it.
In the past few days I have held meetings with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Indonesia, Cuba and the Republic of Korea, and I want to thank them for agreeing to support the response.
I also wish to thank the European Commission for its contribution of 232 million euros, which demonstrates the kind of global solidarity that gives me hope. France, Germany and Sweden have also announced additional contributions.
This is a shared threat. We can only face it together, and we can only overcome it together.
When we act together – countries, regional and global health organizations, the media, the private sector, and people everywhere – our collective strength is formidable.
Alone, we lose. Together, we win.
I thank you


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Re: WHO press conferences
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2020, 10:28:02 am »

The WHO report about the China mission , 40 pages .pdf:

here is a good summary+comment by Kai Kupferschmidt    @kakape  on twitter
there are also several responses ,
I only list Kai's summary here, without the twitter-interrupts :

Like Aylward in his presser the report of the joint mission heaps praise on China for its
response to #covid19:
“In the face of a previously unknown virus, China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious,
agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history.”
Achieving China’s exceptional coverage with and adherence to these containment measures
has only been possible due to the deep commitment of the Chinese people to collective
action in the face of this common threat.” I’ll let others parse this sentence...
Report highlights solidarity within China: “Despite ongoing outbreaks in their own areas,
Governors and Mayors have continued to send thousands of health care workers and tons
of vital PPE supplies into Hubei province and Wuhan city”
This is the money quote: “China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new
respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic.
This decline in #COVID19 cases across China is real.”
Assuming all this is widely accepted, the question is one I and others have raised several
times in the last week: how much of this can and should be implemented in other countries?
Report says about Chinese people: “They have accepted and adhered to the starkest of
containment measures – whether the suspension of public gatherings, the month-long
‘stay at home’ advisories or prohibitions on travel.” Would that be true in Germany? In the US?!
Report: “Much of the global community is not yet ready, in mindset and materially,
to implement the measures that have been employed to contain #COVID19 in China.
These are the only measures that are currently proven to interrupt or minimize transmission
chains in humans”
“Fundamental to these measures is extremely proactive surveillance to immediately detect cases,
very rapid diagnosis and immediate case isolation, rigorous tracking and quarantine of close
contacts, exceptionally high degree of population understanding and acceptance
of these measures.” You can say that again.
I’ll highlight two more points from the report that seem particularly important:

What happens now in China as measures are relaxed. Cases might reappear, but country
is better prepared now, report says. joint mission “endorses China’s working assumption
that in most provinces and municipalities it should soon be possible to manage a resurgence
in #COVID19.”
“The world urgently needs access to China’s experience in responding to #COVID19,
as well as the material goods it brings to the global response. It is even more urgent now,
with escalating #COVID19 outbreaks outside of China”
The other point:  “The time gained by rigorously applying #COVID19 containment measures
must be used more effectively to urgently enhance global readiness and rapidly develop the
specific tools that are needed to ultimately stop this virus” I think everyone will agree on this.
Bear in mind: This was a very rapid first parsing of some things that jumped out at me from
the report’s conclusions. There will be much more to talk about with this report. It may well
dominate the #covid19 debate in the coming days.
Also remember: This was a report written jointly by international and Chinese experts.
It is the product of a scientific mission and a lot of diplomacy.