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Media briefing on COVID-19 - 14/12/2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ruvpy3zOSA&ab_channel=WorldHealthOrganization%28WHO%29

Coleção: Coronavírus - WHO

00:00:37 FC Hello, all. This is Fadela Chaib, speaking to you from WHO headquarters in Geneva and welcoming you to our global COVID-19 press conference today, Monday 14th December. We are happy to be joined today by representatives from youth organisations whom Dr Tedros will introduce to you. We will be talking about a new global initiative called Global Youth Mobilisation for Generation Disturbed, to support young people around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and help alleviate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the development of young people. You will receive a press release about this initiative shortly. Present in the room are WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros, Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Lead for COVID-19, Dr Bruce Aylward, Special Advisor to DG and Lead on the ACT Accelerator and Derek Walton, WHO Legal Counsel. Joining us remotely are Dr Soumya Swaminathan, our Chief Scientist, Dr Kate O'Brien, Director, Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals. Welcome, all. Simultaneous interpretation is provided in the six UN languages plus Portuguese and Hindi. Now without further delay I would like to hand over to the DG, Dr Tedros, for his opening remarks. Dr Tedros, you have the floor. 00:02:26 TAG Shukran. Shukran, Fadela. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. The pandemic has reminded all of us of the heroic work that health workers do every single day. Health workers account for an estimated 3% of the world's population but account for 14% of all infections with COVID-19. One of WHO's primary concerns has been to ensure health workers have access to personal protective equipment. We also advise that health workers should clean their hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand-rub or wash with soap and water and yet new data from WHO and UNICEF show that one in four health facilities globally lack basic water services. In the world's 47 least developed countries half of all health facilities have no clean water on site. This puts health workers and patients at risk from infections of all kinds, makes childbirth much less safe and drives antimicrobial resistance. 00:03:46 Addressing this gap is an urgent priority for WHO and UNICEF and must be for the rest of the world. Preliminary estimates show that making sure all healthcare facilities in the 47 least developed countries have basic water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management and cleaning services will cost an additional US$3.6 billion between 2021 and 2030 and we know that for every dollar invested in hand hygiene alone there is a return of $15. In other words investing in water, sanitation and hygiene is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do. While the direct health impacts of the pandemic on young people have been generally less severe youth are disproportionately affected by the long-lasting consequences of the pandemic. Disruptions to education, economic uncertainty, loss or lack of employment opportunities, impacts on physical and mental health and trauma from domestic violence to name a few. More than one billion students in almost every country have been impacted by school closures and one in six young people worldwide have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic WHO has been working with young people and many partners including UNICEF and UNESCO in several ways. 00:05:30 We have supported and amplified youth-led initiatives on combating misinformation and mental health. We have engaged young people in co-creating communication materials for young people about reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We supported the youth-led COVID-19 Youth Survey to assess attitudes and awareness of young people about COVID-19. We will soon be publishing the results of a global survey about how young people look for and use COVID-19 information online. Two weeks ago we launched the WHO Youth Council to provide advice on key health and development issues affecting young people. Today we're delighted to be taking part in the launch of the Global Youth Mobilisation for Generation Disrupted, a new worldwide movement to support young people and involve them in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new initiative is being led by what's known as the big six youth organisations; the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the Young Men's Christian Association, the World Young Women's Christian Association, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Duke of Edinburgh International Award. 00:07:10 Together these organisations and networks actively involve more than 250 million young people. Through the new global youth mobilisation the big six youth organisations, WHO and the UN Foundation will engage young people around the world in the design of community initiatives to turn around the impact of the pandemic and we hope that it will become a platform for supporting progress towards other health goals including universal health coverage. The voice of the youth for health for all is very crucial. In early 2021 the movement will issue a call for proposals inviting youth groups around the world to develop youth-led solutions to COVID-19 and an accelerator programme to scale up existing response efforts. US$5 million has been allocated to this initiative from the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, powered by the UN Foundation. The global youth mobilisation will also feature the convening of a global youth summit in April 2021. Today I'm delighted to be joined by four representatives from the movement's project board; Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, Tharindra Arumapperuma, an emerging leader and international council member of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, Michelle Shi Jie Chew, youth commission member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Casey Harden, General Secretary of the World Young Women's Christian Association. 00:09:18 Mr Alhendawi, before I give you the floor I understand that today marks the 100th anniversary of the World Scout Bureau so I would like to wish you a very happy birthday and congratulate you for the huge impact you have had on young people over the past 100 years. Thank you and you have the floor. AA Thank you very much, thank you, Director-General, Dr Tedros. Thank you for your leadership and for your very warm words and wishes to the Scout Movement and thank you very much for the exemplary leadership you have extended in this response and for the incredible team that we have seen at the World Health Organization that's steering the response to COVID. 00:10:09 Today we are delighted to join forces with the World Health Organization. We are a group of some of the leading youth-serving and youth-led youth movements that are very concerned today about the societal and health impact of COVID-19. The COVID-19 challenge, as you rightly said, Director-General, has paralysed youth development and the ability of many young people to simply exercise their youth and to access opportunities for education or employment. As you rightly said, we all know that the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 will be felt most by them so these gaps need to be addressed and we believe by joining forces and working together we need to prioritise investments in young people. We believe that young people are opportunities in the response; they are not liabilities when we are combating COVID-19 and we need to engage with them and we need to see the value of this engagement by recognising the realities. Young people are calling for building back better and they are calling for taking the lessons from all the things that went off the track before the pandemic. I think it was a wake-up call for the world to think back on this youthful world that we have with half of the world's population under the age of 25. 00:11:30 So today this global mobilisation is bringing together leading youth organisations, serving over 250 million people around the world but it is not only limited to the big six youth organisations; the IFRC, the Scout Movement, WAGS together with the Duke of Edinburgh Award and also the YMCA/YWCA. We also would like to engage more youth organisations, the smaller youth organisations, the youth organisations and youth groups who otherwise would not be able to access these opportunities. That's why I would like to salute the World Health Organization and UN Foundation for reaching out to all of us and in fact for challenging us to come together and for coming up with solutions that would help in your response, not only to deal with the health side of the pandemic but also the societal impacts of COVID-19. So this is an exciting moment indeed for us to join forces in investing and scaling up global youth-led response to the recovery efforts from COVID-19. Our mobilisation is offering some unique solutions. As someone who's worked in youth development for years we have been always calling for more funding and user-friendly funding to support the local initiatives. 00:12:44 So what concretely we will be doing utilising a fund of over $5 million and this global partnership and community of supporters of the Global Solidarity Response Fund; what we will be doing is to accelerate some of these responses and solutions created by young people. We'll be investing, injecting more resources into youth-led organisations who, as I said, otherwise would not have access to these funding instruments and we will be scaling up existing response efforts. As you rightly said, Dr Tedros, we will be coming together to talk about how to build back better in a Global Youth Summit in 2021 that brings young people and youth organisations across the world... So we're very excited about this mobilisation. It's an exemplary leadership that you have shown and not reaching out only for those organisations which have traditionally engaged with the World Health Organization but also other organisations who can be instrumental in building back better. Thank you very much. 00:13:47 TAG Thank you. Thank you so much indeed and I fully agree that this is not just about the big six but involving all youth groups to lead the movement so thank you so much for that, Mr Alhendawi. Now, Ms Arumapperuma, thank you for joining us today and thank you for everything that the Duke of Edinburgh scheme does to engage and empower young people. You have the floor. TA Thank you, Dr Tedros. We all know that this year has been incredibly difficult for all generations. It doesn't necessarily have to be young people but every generation is touched by this pandemic and despite the fact that COVID-19 impacts older generations more directly we believe that young people have the most to do and definitely they will be continuing to lose for years to come and that will be as a consequence of the pandemic. The impacts of COVID-19 have led one in six young people worldwide to lose their jobs, which is definitely a stepping-stone for their career development and resulted in lack of employment opportunities and lots of uncertainty during this challenging time, which is devastating as a young person in all of our communities. 00:15:15 Of course, talking about my own country, Sri Lanka, the job losses and the lack of opportunities have led to an increase in mental health issues amongst my peers. Also, to talk about a bit of a positive approach on this, there was also significant growth in the innovative side of young people and they were coming up with different innovations to respond to different aspects of the pandemic so that was a beautiful thing to see as a young person. Despite all these scenarios we all understand that there's a general sense of loss of direction and also a loss of hope for the future of young people and our future prospects as well. Also I think this is a wonderful time that this mobilisation programme's coming because it provides us with all the opportunities to realise our ideas and implement our own young people's solutions to health and societal challenges that our communities are facing as a result of COVID-19. Definitely it is crucial to recognise and celebrate these actions which are being come up with as a youth-led team. Also we aim to bring hope and we can hope that we as a mobilisation programme and young people, the force behind it, will be a driving force for the change we want to see in all communities across the world and to use all the diverse skill sets of young people to open up new avenues and opportunities. 00:16:51 Also we know that young people worldwide are already doing a lot of great work to alleviate negative impacts and definitely this is an opportunity we could use to recognise, celebrate and invest in all their wonderful further efforts so thank you. TAG Thank you. Thank you so much indeed and my greetings to Sri Lanka. Now, Ms Chew, thank you for joining us today and thank you to all young people who work with the International Federation of the Red Cross all over the world. You have the floor. MC Thank you, Dr Tedros; honoured to have the opportunity to speak here on behalf of young people today. Education has been particularly hard-hit during the pandemic. As you have mentioned earlier as well, Dr Tedros, worldwide more than one billion students in nearly every country have experienced school closures, depriving them of critical education and learning opportunities and young people are missing out on this. 00:17:57 During the pandemic young people are actually left stranded and lost without means to obtain education. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has called this the largest disruption to education in history. While many young people are starting to get back to school, rolling lock-downs mean that the COVID-19 risks to education are actually not over for us. The quality of or the access to education should not be compromised during the pandemic. Young people should not have to sacrifice educational opportunities in exchange for our livelihoods and health. Youths should still be able to learn and gain knowledge through various means and this includes through informal and non-formal education. Therefore this mobilisation effort will actually help to provide young people with the resources for both professional and personal growth while empowering us to take the initiative and propose our own solutions. Our generation is actually very aware of the social, economic and environmental challenges facing us, our communities and the planet. We are not silent and we are not standing idly by. We want to help and we are capable of helping. We're really not super-spreaders or trouble-makers but we are part of the solution in mobilising and volunteering to see the change that we want in our communities. 00:19:22 This is why as young people we are really excited about this global youth mobilisation because it provides us with the platform to share our ideas, experiences and solutions to build the post-pandemic future that we envision and want to live in. Young people want to build back better. TAG Thank you. Thank you so much, Michelle. I fully agree and we hope the global youth mobilisation will bring significant progress. Now, Ms Harden, thank you to you and the more than 130,000 volunteers who work with the YWCA movement all over the world. You have the floor. CH Thank you very much. As the world's largest youth movements, the big six, we not only support youth but we partner with young people and we're so excited to champion this effort where we will have youth mobilised to lead the way so that we can all follow their excitement and their wisdom, like that which Michelle just shared. 00:20:36 We will be supporting development of the solutions to help our world respond to COVID-19 and this effort, this approach is really a bright spot in what has been an incredibly challenging year. We know as the big six that young people do amazing things for humanity and this effort is really intended to further enable our young leaders and local and national youth organisations to take really good ideas, the wisdom that they have to action and to innovate in support of their communities and our global community. We also know that a useful, successful and effective pandemic response must involve young people and it has to be relevant and it must respond to their realities, which is why we need to look to the youth leaders. We have a real chance here to do something quite remarkable, to come together - policymakers, governments, businesses, civil societies, youth organisations - for all of us to come together and create a new deal for young people. We've already seen momentum around this really compelling initiative with the ambassadors and influencers as well as global brands like the NBA, Disney and FIFA taking interest in the plan and this collective vision. 00:21:57 As has been stared, the doors are open for other partners. We know that that's really what's going to make this vision manifest and that's partners from all sectors joining us, expanding the outreach and the impact of this global youth mobilisation. Working together is really the way that we'll reach the scale that's baked into the plan and into the vision. We're really grateful to the World Health Organization and United Nations Foundation for the collaborative spirit, attitude, responsiveness with which we've approached this plan. It's that kind of new way of doing things that we can hold ourselves accountable to in order to again bring this to life and have the vision manifest and also of course the generous funding is really how we're going to make this good idea happen. So with this initiative we're going to follow the lead of young people to make sure not only that they're not left behind but that we're really responsive to the needs of youth and follow their lead because they know what's best. Thank you. TAG [Inaudible] months to engage young people all over the world in the response to COVID-19 and to building a healthier, safer and fairer world. Fadela, back to you. 00:23:30 FC Thank you, Dr Tedros, and to our guests. I would like now to open the floor to questions from members of the media. I remind you that you will need to use the raise your hand icon in order to get in the queue to ask your question and please do not forget to unmute yourself. I would like also to inform journalists for their accurate reporting that Ahmed and Michelle connected from Malaysia, Tharindra from Sri Lanka and Casey from Switzerland. I know that this information is important for you. Now coming back to our journalists, I would like to invite Gabriela Sotomayor from Proceso to ask the first question. Gabriela, are you online? GA Yes. Thank you so much. Hola. Thank you for giving me the floor. In Mexico millions of children have not returned to school since the pandemic began. They have opened bars and shopping centres but schools are still closed. The children have suffered a lot without seeing their friends. I honestly don't know if I should ask this question but I will anyway. One of the things that most worries many of the children is if Santa Claus will be able to get home this Christmas because he's very old, he's overweight, they are concerned about whether Santa Claus will be able to leave his house and whether he will be able to travel. Do you have any message to the children in Mexico and maybe children all over the world? Thanks. 00:25:21 FC Thank you, Gabriela. Dr Van Kerkhove will take this question. MK Thank you very much for this really important question. I think you've highlighted a concern that many children have across the world. We can tell you that I understand the concern for Santa because he is of older age and he is of one of the older age groups but I can tell you that Santa Claus is immune to this virus. We had a brief chat with him and he is doing very well. Mrs Claus is doing very well and they're very busy right now but he is immune and we have heard from a number of leaders across the world who have told us that they have restricted - relaxed; excuse me - the quarantine measures for Santa to enter the airspace so he will be able to travel in and out of the airspace and able to deliver presents to children. 00:26:16 But I think it is very important that all children of the world understand that physical distancing by Santa Claus and also of the children themselves must be strictly enforced so it is really important that the children of the world still listen to their moms and dads and their guardians and make sure that they go to bed on Christmas Eve. But Santa will be able to travel around the world to deliver presents so thank you very much for that important question. MR I'd like to thank Maria as well for that reassurance but it's not just the kids of the world, Maria. We all believe in Santa. FC Thank you, Dr Ryan. I would like now to invite Bianca Rauthier from Globo to ask the next question. Bianca, are you with us? Bianca, are you online? BI Yes, now I think I am. FC Please go ahead. BI Can you hear me? FC Yes, very well. Go ahead, please. 00:27:44 BI Thanks, Gabriela, for this beautiful question and Maria for answering. My question is on vaccines. As the phase-three studies have been showing the new vaccines seem to have a very high efficacy to prevent people from getting sick. But how does WHO see the risk about vaccinated people spreading the virus to others and in this sense should vaccinated people continue to use masks not for themselves but to protect the others? Thanks. FC Thank you, Bianca. I would like maybe to ask if Dr... SS I can come in, Fadela. FC Yes, Dr Swaminathan, you have the floor. SS I think Dr Ryan needs his mic fixed. That's a very good question and I think the answer is that we still don't know with many of the vaccines whether it is going to prevent the person from getting infected so the vaccines have been shown to be efficacious against developing disease. What we hope is the vaccines will also prevent infection so that transmission can be cut as well but as of now we don't have the evidence to prove that so it's really important that everyone who gets the vaccine continues to take precautions. 00:29:26 At least in the beginning we know that very few people are going to get the vaccine, it's going to take time to ramp up and therefore it's really important that everyone continues to take the precautions of distancing, the mask wearing, the hand washing, the avoiding of crowded places and so on because it's going to be a while until we achieve that herd immunity that's necessary to protect everyone in the community. So I think until then it's really important and also until we get more data from the clinical trials that are going on now to understand more about the protection these vaccines offer against infection, against transmission, against disease and against severe disease and different vaccines may have different properties. So I think we're watching and waiting to learn but I think until then it's an important message to be sending out. Thank you. FC Thank you, Dr Swaminathan. Dr O'Brien would like also to make some remarks. Dr O'Brien, you have the floor. 00:30:23 KOB Thank you. I just want to re-emphasise that the results that we have from the vaccine efficacy trials so far are really promising but these are also early-days results and the follow-up of the people who have been vaccinated is really critical and we need to continue to collect data, collect information about the duration of protection, which we're still learning about, and continue the evaluation of these vaccines as we move forward. We have great information to get started but, as Soumya said, really learning also about whether or not these vaccines can protect against infection and transmission is one of the critical things. So the research really needs to continue on these vaccines and the vaccines that are continuing to come down the pipeline. Thank you. FC Thank you, Dr O'Brien. I would like now to invite Stephanie Nebahe from Reuters to ask the next question. Stephanie, you have the floor. ST Thank you, hello. We were interested in hearing a little bit more about this report issued by WHO's European office that was posted in mid-May and then withdrawn. I'm sure you're familiar with it. Today it was reissued to reporters with the caveat that it was not endorsed by WHO and contained factual inaccuracies. 00:32:03 I wonder if you could say what those factual inaccuracies were and whether you might comment on reports in Italian media that Mr Raniera may be removed from his position as Vice-President of WHO's European office following reports that he may have put pressure on the authors to remove that report. Thank you. FC Thank you, Stephanie, for this question. This is a matter for our office in Copenhagen and I will be happy to connect you with our office there later on. Thank you, Stephanie. Next question will be from Simon Ateba. Simon, are you with us? SI Yes, I am. Thank you for giving me the floor. This is Simon Ateba from Today News Africa in Washington DC. Here in the US the first COVID vaccine shots were administered this morning. An ICU nurse, Sandra Lindsay, was the first person to receive the first shot but there is still a lot of skepticism out there. The polls show that the number of people who are ready to receive the vaccine is still relatively low. I was wondering if the WHO has a game plan for Africa once the vaccine reaches there. Do you have a way of enforcing communication to ensure that people are more likely to receive the vaccine in the continent? Thank you. 00:33:50 FC Thank you, Simon. Dr Ryan. MR As I said previously - Kate may come in on this as well - again I actually think that Africa has had huge success in the past, has more experience in mass campaigns probably than any other continent in the last number of years, be it cholera, yellow fever, polio and measles mask campaigns. In that sense African colleagues and African health authorities, African NGOs and African communities are very used to the micro-planning and communication processes needed to run successful immunisation campaigns and actually routinely achieve very, very high levels of compliance and demand and levels of vaccination. In fact, as I said last week, Africa has just kicked wild polio out of Africa after vaccinating hundreds of millions of children over decades so Africa has the capacity, has communities who understand the value of immunisation but obviously, as in all continents now, misinformation and disinformation are an issue. 00:34:55 We've been working very, very closely with the Red Cross movement and with UNICEF and others on improving community engagement and improving risk communication and I know Kate and others have been working very closely with readiness plans at country level which include built-in a strong component of community engagement and social marketing for demand. Kate may wish to comment on that but this is certainly a major part of any national vaccine action plan. Community engagement and acceptance are a massive part of the success of any vaccination intervention and will be again this time but I've every confidence that Africa has shown the way before, has demonstrated actually how to do large community-based campaigns. What we need to do is get vaccines for Africa and for other developing countries. The issue now for me is not about demand in Africa; it's about generating supply for Africa and other developing countries and that needs to happen soon. Kate may want to supplement. FC Kate, you have the floor. KOB Yes, thank you. I just want to add to what Mike has had to say about this that we're working very closely with countries throughout Africa on the readiness plans and in fact many countries have already developed their plan for [sound slip]. 00:36:21 Those plans are demand and confidence-related activities and I think what's really important as we drive forward on the readiness of countries; it's really the readiness of communities to be able to seek vaccines, to have confidence in them and so there's a critical role that is played right now to be communicating accurately on the information that we have about the vaccines to countries. So this is such an important thing right now because, as we've said before, vaccines don't save lives; vaccination does and so these demand-related activities are extremely important and the involvement of the communities in preparing for vaccination is probably one of the most [inaudible]. MR Maybe just supplementing again on Kate - we lost her there but again recognising the important and crucial role of the African Union, the Africa CDC, our regional office for Africa under the leadership of Dr Tshidi Moeti. 00:37:34 There's a lot of international work going on to align all of our strategies, working very closely with UNICEF, with the Red Cross movement, with MSF and others and national and local NGOs. This is going to require all hands on deck, it's going to require a whole-of-society approach, a prepared community. It's not just about preparing for vaccination and logistics and cold chains. That's very important but communities need to be prepared; we need to generate that demand and that acceptance of the vaccine and that requires a very careful dialogue with communities and the provision of clear and easy-to-understand information and the availability of medical practitioners and health workers to be available to answer questions both directly at community level and through the media. It's no different in Africa than it is anywhere else but I've always been impressed at the level to which African communities engage with health interventions. They more than anyone else understand the value of community-based interventions and have seen the value of vaccination and I have every confidence that when our African communities are presented with this vaccine they will take it. 00:38:46 But again sometimes Africa is seen as a single continent, like a single country. Africa is hugely diverse and there are situations on the African continent of fragility and conflict, there are areas in which we have ethnic and other tensions, there are areas in which there's exclusion and marginalisation. There are people living in urban slums and living in very remote rural settings so we need to see that vaccinating successfully in Africa is as complicated and as challenging as anywhere else and resources are required to be able to make that a successful intervention. But I have every confidence in communities in Africa that they will want this vaccine and will want to take this vaccine. Thank you. FC Thank you, Dr Ryan. I would like to invite Dr Swaminathan to respond to this question. Dr Swaminathan. 00:39:43 SS Yes, very quickly. I just wanted to add to what Mike and Kate have already said. Since we have the six big youth organisations with us today and representatives talking about how they're going to mobilise youth and communities and take up these challenging issues I think this is a perfect topic for them. The youth can really mobilise, they can use social media much better than we can and they're generally very well-informed and I think they can influence their parents and their grandparents if they get the facts right and they spread it through their networks into the communities. So just a shout out to our young friends leading the big youth movements around the world to play a role in improving vaccine acceptance not just for COVID-19 but for all diseases; diseases like measles for which we have increasing numbers of people coming down with measles despite the fact that we've had an effective and safe vaccine for years. That would be a great rallying cry, I think, coming from the youth organisations. Thank you. FC Thank you, Dr Swaminathan. Just reminding journalists that our youth participants are still online so if you have any questions to them please don't hesitate. In the meantime I would like to invite the Daily Telegraph reporter, Ann Gillan, to ask the next question. Ann, are you with us? 00:41:09 AN Hi. Can you hear me? FC Yes, very well. Go ahead, Ann. AN Thank you very much. Today Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, said that the UK had identified a new strain of the coronavirus and I wondered if anyone at the organisation knew anything about this strain and whether you had any comment to make on it. Thank you. FC Yes, thanks for the question. Yes, we are aware of this genetic variant, I think, reported in about 1,000 individuals in England and the authorities in the UK under Matt Hancock's leadership obviously are looking at the significance of this. We've seen many variants. As we've always said here, this virus evolves and changes over time and we've seen different variants emerge. The question is whether there's significance in public health terms and certainly looking at this particular variant, it seems to have become more prevalent in the UK. 00:42:13 We'll obviously need to work with our international lab network to see if that variant is becoming more prevalent on an international basis but again to say that this kind of evolution or mutations like this are actually quite common. The question, as we've had most recently with the mink variants in Denmark and the previous variations in the virus; does this make the virus more serious, does it allow the virus to transmit more easily, does it in any way interfere with diagnostics, would it in any way interfere with vaccine effectiveness? These are questions. None of these questions have been addressed yet and we have no information to suggest that any of that is the case and that is why each and every time we see a significant variant we have to take the time to assess its significance. I'm sure the UK authorities are doing the responsible thing, as they are, in really looking at this, in informing and putting this up on public websites. I think, as they said, they've already uploaded the sequences for everybody else to look at. It is the height of transparency. It is state-of-the art in the way in which national authorities communicate with other national authorities and with WHO. It shows absolute transparency and we have every confidence inn the UK scientific capacity to understand this variant and to work with us and experts around the world to do the same. 00:43:34 Maria may have more details on the specific variant and the findings so far. Maria. MK Yes, thanks, Mike. Just to say that, yes, it has been reported to us through our IHR channels and that's very helpful for us to see but this is a variant, it's the N501Y that's actually being monitored already by our virus evolution working group. It's come up in the context of a mink variant identified elsewhere. So, as Mike has pointed out, I think what's really important is that you understand that there is a process by which WHO working together with scientists around the world are evaluating each one of these variants that are being identified and to understand the significance of this in terms of the virus' behaviour as its ability to transmit or its ability to cause different forms of disease. 00:44:23 But those studies will be underway and those studies are underway in the UK and we're directly working... In fact in my inbox now there's a discussion that's happening right now with our virus evolution working group particularly, specifically on this. So that's really important, that that laboratory work is done to evaluate any potential significance and we're not necessarily saying that there is. That research needs to be done, and then to do a proper risk assessment to determine if this variant or any variant that is identified has any impact on any products. So this is a process that's a robust process that is in place, it's been in place in one form or another since January, it was formalised into a working group in June and so we will follow up and we are following up with our colleagues in the UK and we thank them for reporting this and for all countries who are doing full genome sequencing and who are making these full genome sequences available. I think it's worth noting that more than 250,000 full-genome sequences have been made available on platforms like GISAID and others. We're very grateful for this and we hope that that will continue and we hope that that will be expanded to more countries of the world. 00:45:34 MR Yes, and I think importantly at the end there, Maria, recognising the work, that most of this work is actually voluntary by non-profit organisations like GISAID, who've been hosting these sequences since the very first weeks of this response and we would just do a big shout out to all those staff and analysts who are analysing these specimens and stewarding these specimens and getting them up online sometimes without the necessary resources, without the necessary IT tools and the rest to do that most effectively. After a year of this we'd just like to say thank you to all those collaborators and a shout out especially to my colleague, Peter Bognor, at GISAID. This wouldn't have got done without you, Peter. Thank you. MK I have an update as we're sitting here from our colleagues in the UK. There's no evidence so far that this variant behaves differently but of course we're being cautious to evaluate this properly, as I explained. So what they're looking at is to see if there're any changes in the development of neutralising antibodies and that is something that will be tested for all of the variants that are identified. 00:46:46 So so far we don't have any evidence that this variant behaves differently so I just want to provide that quick update but we will continue to evaluate and inform you of any changes. FC Thank you. I would like now to invite Maya Plans from UN Brief to ask the next question. Maya, can you hear me? MA Yes, thank you very much, Fadela. My question is regarding WASH, the partnership with UNICEF. What are some of the programmes that are going to be rolled out, that will be started in 2021? Can you hear me? FC Yes, very well. Dr Ryan will respond. MR We're very pleased to see that joint strategy rolled out and I don't have the exact details of the projects to be rolled out in the next year but they will focus on ensuring that we can make healthcare facilities safer for front-line workers but more importantly safer for patients. When we look at COVID-19 in general it's exposed some very brutal shortcomings in our healthcare delivery systems; standards of care. We are now working so hard on trying to improve oxygen availability for COVID-19 but the reality is that thousands of people die every year in hospitals because there is no high-quality source of medical oxygen. 00:48:17 We're hoping that, COVID-19 having highlighted this issue, we can work with other agencies to deliver on that and we're doing that. Equally infection prevention and control in terms of ensuring health workers are protected and ensuring that infections do not spread in hospitals. This is not just important for COVID; this is important for antimicrobial resistance, this is important for Ebola, this is important for so many other diseases. Finally water and sanitation is absolutely essential to basic safe care for people, for mothers to deliver safely, for operations to be carried out safely and for basic hygiene and cleanliness around hospital environments. Frankly it's a tragedy but it's also an abomination that in the 21st century we cannot and have many, many hospitals around the world that don't have a safe source of water. 00:49:16 We're not talking about communities living in difficult... We're talking about our hospitals, we're talking about our healthcare facilities that don't have safe supply of clean water to take care of patients. It's a massive issue with COVID and that's why the focus has been on this work and working particularly with UNICEF and others on this. We're very proud of this work, we're very proud to partner on this issue but, as the DG has said many times, COVID has not just driven these issues. What COVID has done is peeled away and revealed some very, very uncomfortable truths. I worked personally in many, many outbreaks. In Ecuator province in Congo two years ago when we had the ninth outbreak of Ebola in a major city it was difficult to find a hospital in a major city that had fresh, clean, safe running water. You cannot control Ebola in that situation; you cannot control COVID in that situation; you cannot control diarrhoeal disease in that situation. This is a fundamental requirement for safe healthcare and we support our colleagues in UNICEF and in the WASH cluster and in all those NGOs and all those organisations that work around the world on water and sanitation for health and we will continue to support that. 00:50:38 We'll be very happy to share with you directly a list of the proposed activities. I just don't have them here to hand right now. MA Thank you. FC Thank you, Dr Ryan. I would like now to invite Sophie from SABC to ask the next and maybe last question. Sophie, you have the floor. SO Thank you. I just want to find out... The launch of the mobilisation for generation disruption; it comes at a time particularly around the world where we see a population, particularly the young people, are getting infected. If I may cite an example, in South Africa we are heading towards holidays and after the exams we have seen a number of spreader events, particularly where you had these young people converging. What is your message to the young people and how are you going to ensure that the countries do buy into this mobilisation for generation disruption and how are you going to popularise it? 00:51:56 FC Thank you, Sophie. Ahmad Alhendawi, I think, is still with us as well as the other speakers. Ahmad, did you hear the question from Sophie? AA Yes, I did. I think it's a very important question and there are two parts to this question. The first is about better understanding the reality of young people under a pandemic. The reality of young people and their potentials have been disrupted, their ability to access... and as I said in my introductory remarks, their ability just to exercise their youth, those social interactions or that ability to access education or to do the transitions to employability or the transitions to form families. All of these transitions have been delayed and disrupted and I think it's really important for us when we engage with young people to depart from labelling them as super-spreaders or these stigmas that were associated to them and understand that the true talent of people can be unleashed by really starting with recognition of what kind of price they have top pay. 00:53:01 In fact at some point we were talking; following every big crisis in the world the world has to come together to think of the recovery. This generation of young people deserve to be bailed out and recognised for what kind of challenges they had been facing before the pandemic and have been accelerated and exacerbated during it. So that recognition is important. While doing that also some research is showing very clearly that young people and their adherence to the rules are not that different from the rest of the population so segmenting or singling out that youth group, I think, really will do us a disservice in winning allies in young people in the fight against the pandemic and really leading that recovery effort. The second part, how to popularise it, how to ensure that we have global buy-in; in fact we are today joining not only as global youth movements coming together but this is an invitation for all to join in. When we say it's a global youth mobilisation for generation disrupted we're talking about that massive mobilisation that requires all sectors to come together; academia, business, private sector, looking at the governments and others to come together. 00:54:10 I hope that our Global Youth Summit in April will feature an opportunity for all of us to come together and think how that new normal would look for young people and what kind of characteristics we need to have for that new normal so we don't fail this massive generation of young people. So we are approaching this with a lot of optimism, we are approaching this with a lot of belief in the potential of young people. We are not naive; we know there are issues, we know there are challenges but if our collective experiences as a youth movement have taught us one thing it is the power for positive, constructive narrative and engaging young people by winning allies in them, not by treating them as liabilities. I think that's our way forward and we're very encouraged by the number of partners who would like to team up with us as part of this effort and once again very encouraged with the World Health Organization leadership on this effort. FC Thank you, Ahmad. I would like also to invite the other guests, if they want, to say something. Tharindra, Michelle, Casey, you have the floor. 00:55:18 CH Yes, I would simply add that I talked a bit about the spirit of this initiative and the spirit behind it is, I think, apt to some of your question, which is what does it look like for adoption, installation, realisation, socialisation of accurate information about the pandemic, about really trying to give a message that's compelling for youth. The spirit of the response to that, the answer to that, the recipe that we think is going to be effective is placing young people in the centre of the solution and following their lead. I can't say that enough. We know as youth organisations that it's often really creating the space for young people to do the leading. They're able to move the noise away and take that wisdom, their own wisdom, their own creativity and their own knowledge of what's needed to do something like socialise the right message or increase engagement. 00:56:22 So it's really fantastic to see the spirits of what's behind this vision really be imbued throughout and with that I will be quiet and give an opportunity for our two leaders joining us today to add. Thanks. FC Thank you, Casey. Michelle and Tharindra, if you want to take the floor you are welcome. TA Hi. Just to add a quick point, coming from a young person, it's very important that we recognise, if not now when? Because obviously the opportunity of us being young is not forever. It's just this time segment and it's very important that we identify as a community the problems we as young people go through. It can be several issues and some can be extremely traumatising so it's very important that we build a platform like the mobilisation programme to build and empower the future of our world, the future, who's going to take over the world and make sure that they have better opportunities because there can be various, diverse sets of skills and various innovative ideas that can be probably bring ground-breaking change in the world. That is why it's very important that we take great decisions right now so that we have a positive future, positive world to look at because most of the changes right now which are happening are also from young people. 00:58:02 Also if you think that young people are also too small to make a change, I think we need to think about that and we as an entire set of young people are stronger than a lot of the entire communities together so I think this is the best time to make some great, positive change and let's all do it together. Thank you. MC Yes, and also just adding on to Tharindra's point, I think I really want to call on our senior leaders, adults, businesses, governments, institutions to really strongly respond and support this global youth mobilisation so that young people can emerge from this pandemic stronger, more resilient and also better-off. Because by involving young people and by supporting us in the pandemic efforts, response and recovery efforts young people as well as all generations would actually benefit. I think for young people and our generation as well, we really want to show that we can play a part in shaping our own futures and as much as we really appreciate the guidance from our senior leaders and our adults I think it's still important to recognise that as young people we know what we are facing, we know the realities on the ground and that is why we are suitable and capable to really drive this movement and shape a future that we all really want to see, not only for ourselves but for all generations and also for the future. Right? FC Thank you so much to our four guests. I would like now to hand over to Dr Tedros for his final comments. TAG Thank you. Thank you, Fadela. So encouraging; I'm very excited personally to listen to our youth leaders and I fully agree that the youth should be at the centre of the solution and taking a lead - that's very important - and, as Michelle said, have a chance to shape the future. That's why we have decided with them to start this movement and it's going to be part of the bigger movement and, as Ahmad said earlier, not just these six big... but we will mobilise all youth groups to really take the lead. As you remember, we had announced, launched the Youth Council and members of the Youth Council advisory for WHO will be leaders of the different global youth associations. 01:00:57 The purpose is not just to fight this pandemic but to actually for the youth to lead the long journey to health for all. As we always say, through the ownership by the youth all leads will lead to universal health coverage and if we're going to have a strategic solution to what we're facing today including the COVID pandemic the strategic solution is health for all or universal health coverage. So I believe this movement will grow from strength to strength and led by youth who are really, as Michelle and other colleagues and those who have participated today said, shaping the future or shaping their future. So I would like again to thank Ahmad, Tharindra, Michelle and Casey for your leadership. Then moving to the other issues, in the last few minutes I have had very good news. Canada has announced a significant funding commitment to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and I would like to thank Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau for the solidarity and generosity expressed to help the COVAX facility succeed so thank you so much, Canada. 01:02:38 As you know, the ACT Accelerator is truly the best global solution to fight the acute phase of the pandemic, save lives and drive the global recovery. Then finally one more; today, as you know, marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of UNHCR, the UN refugee agency and refugees are among the most vulnerable people in our world. Today we're seeing the largest population movements and displacement since the end of the Second World War and many refugees and migrants live highly insecure lives on the fringes of society, often in fear and often without access to essential health and other services. To change this situation it's vital that all countries include refugees and migrants in national health plans as part of their commitment to universal health coverage. Happy birthday, UNHCR. WHO is proud to work with you to improve the health and well-being of all refugees and thank you and congratulations also to my brother, Filippo Grande and to all members and families of UNHCR. Thank you and see you on Friday. FC Thank you, Dr Tedros, to our youth leaders and to our colleagues for this press conference. Many thanks also to journalists who are following us regularly. I would like just to remind you that we will be sending the DG's opening remarks and the audio file shortly after the end of this press conference. The transcript will be available to you tomorrow morning. Thank you again and have a nice evening. 01:04:37

Autor(es): World Health Organization Idioma: Inglês Duração: 1 vídeo do youtube (1:04:38 min): son., color. Publisher: World Health Organization
Assunto(s): Infecções por Coronavirus/prevenção & controle, Pneumonia Viral/prevenção & controle, Pandemias/prevenção & controle, Betacoronavirus/imunologia, Vacinas Virais/provisão & distribução, Equipamento de Proteção Individual, Pessoal de Saúde/organização & administração, Resistência Microbiana a Medicamentos, Países em Desenvolvimento, Instituições Acadêmicas, Nações Unidas, Comunicação em Saúde, Sistemas de Saúde/organização & administração, América/epidemiologia, Saúde do Adolescente, Financiamento da Assistência à Saúde, Cobertura Universal do Seguro de Saúde, Quarentena/organização & administração, Saúde Mental, Isolamento Social/psicologia, Máscaras, COVID-19, Ghebreyesus, Tedros Adhanom, Big 6
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