W. H.O. and Coronavirus



the time on 30 january there were just 100 cases outside of china and nowadays since then there has been an exponential rise in cases and every country in the world has been impacted and with major disruptions to essential health services the ripple effects of this pandemic are having a major impact politically economically and in how people live their day-to-day lives everyone is asking so how do we go back to norman and today i want to talk about not how we’re going to go back but how we’re going to go forward and that to move forward the best bet is to do it together in early january at the beginning of the outbreak wh activated our global technical networks to gather all available information about this virus within the first two weeks of january the viral genome of kovid 19 was mapped in china shared globally and the first pcr test protocol was shared on the who website this enabled the first diagnostics to be developed vaccine research to start and soon after millions of tests ppe and supplies were shipped around the world in february we held the whs research and development blueprint meeting where scientists and researchers from across the world came together to identify research priorities a roadmap was created for the development and fair distribution of diagnostics therapeutics and vaccines also in february and march numerous countries showed that it’s never too late to suppress covet 19 using a comprehensive approach this includes active case finding and isolation contact tracing and quarantine adequate testing and appropriate clinical care with these tools it was clearly possible to break the chains of transmission by a combination of traditional public health techniques at the pandemic evolved countries clearly needed to come together in an unprecedented way to develop new vaccines diagnostics and therapeutics and to set the stage for ensuring that they reach all people everywhere in april who convinced world leaders and launched the access to kobe 19 tools act accelerator in just three months the accelerator has already shown results as of today nine vaccine candidates are already in the kovacs portfolio and going through phase two or three trials and this portfolio already the broadest in the world is constantly expanding and through the kovacs global vaccines facility countries that represent nearly 70 percent of the global population have signed up or expressed an interest to be part of the new initiative on therapeutics the first proven therapy for severe covet 19 dexamethasone was announced in june with support from the therapeutic accelerator arm and is currently in scalab on diagnostics more than 50 tests are currently in evaluation and new evidence has been generated around rapid antigen detection tests that could be game changing the act accelerator is the only global framework for ensuring the fair and equitable allocation of covet 19 tools but it must be financed to be successful imf estimates the pandemic costs the global economy 375 billionaires dollars a month and predicts a cumulative loss to the global economy over two years of over 12 trillion u.

s dollars the world has already spent trillions dealing with the short-term consequences of the pandemic g20 countries alone have mobilized more than 10 trillion us dollars in fiscal stimulus to treat and mitigate the consequences of the pandemic that’s already more than three and a half times as much as the world spent in the entire response to the global financial crisis it’s easy to think of the act accelerator at the research and development effort but in reality it’s the best economic stimulus the world can invest funding the act accelerator will cost a tiny fraction in comparison to the alternative where economies retract further and require continued physical stimulus packages before spending another 10 trillion us dollars on the consequences of the next wave we estimate that the world will need to spend at least 100 billion us dollars on new tools especially any new vaccines that are developed the first and most immediate need is 31.

3 billion us dollars for the act accelerator the act accelerator is the only up and running global initiative that brings together all the global research and development manufacturing regulatory purchasing and procurement needed for all the tools required to end the pandemic picking individual winners is an expensive risky gamble the act accelerator enables governments to spread the risk and share the reward in particular the development of vaccines is long complex risky and expensive the vast majority of vaccines in early development fail the world needs multiple vaccine candidates of different types to maximize the chances of finding a winning solution when a successful new vaccine is found there will be greater demand than there is supply excess demand and competition for supply is already creating vaccine nationalism and risk of price gouging this is the kind of market failure that only global solidarity public sector investment and engagement can solve but the act accelerator funding gap can’t be covered by traditional development assistance alone the best solution for everyone is a blend of development assistance and additional financing from stimulus packages to fund this effort and this blend of financing is the best solution right now because it’s the fastest way to end the pandemic and ensure a swift global recovery we live in a globalized economy and countries are dependent on each other for goods and services transportation and supply if we don’t get rid of the virus everywhere we can’t rebuild economies anywhere and the real beauty of the accelerator and its work is that stimulus investments and globally coordinated rollout of new vaccines tests and therapeutics would have a major multiplier effect on our economies the sooner we stop the pandemic the sooner we can ensure internationally interlinked sectors like travel trade and tourism can truly recover there is hope if we all deploy the tools currently at our disposal today and if we collectively invest in new tools through the act accelerator we have a route out of this pandemic together together together with solidarity over the past two years working with the government of the democratic republic of the congo communities health workers and local and international partners we collectively defeated one of the most difficult ebola outbreaks the world has ever faced however at the time of kobe 19 the outbreak in equator province is a warring development so far there have been 86 ebola cases across the province the country government and partners face significant logistical challenges in being able to rapidly investigate and establish response capacities in extremely remote and difficult areas to access the geographic spread of the outbreak is vast with cases in some areas separated by more than 250 kilometers and many areas are only accessible by helicopter or boat right now who has approximately 100 staff on the ground working with the ministry of health un agencies ngos and communities we immediately released 2.

5 million us dollars from the contingency fund for emergencies and our regional emergency response fund to support the immediate response to bring the outbreak under control and end it who and partners require additional funding we’re currently working with surrounding provinces and neighboring countries to enhance preparedness as we did with the previous ebola outbreak in eastern drc as we know from past experience this is not just a matter for a country’s health security it is a matter of global health security whether it’s kobe 19 ebola or other high impact epidemics we must be prepared we need to be on high alert and we need to respond quickly and our best chance to be successful is always do it together i thank you thank you very much dr ted ross i’ll now open the floor to questions from journalists but before that i’d like to remind you that if you want to ask a question you must use the raise your hand icon even if you’ve submitted the question beforehand and i’ll also apologize to you now to those who miss out we’ve got a lot of people online so please restrict your questions to one question i know it’s a really complex subject but please try to just ask the one question we’ve got a lot of very strong science and health journalists on the line and we’ll start with helen branswell from stat news helen could you unmute yourself and ask your question hi hi all thank you very much for taking my question i’ve asked it before and i’m going to ask it again one of these times the answer might be different is there any evidence yet of um you know confirmed reinfection of cases of people who had earlier had infection and have had a second subsequent infection thank you hi helen uh thanks for the question it’s a it’s a timely one i think this is on the minds of many individuals there are some examples of countries that have suggested that an an individual may have been re-infected there’s still not it’s not still not confirmed what we need to be able to do is to look at a few things one is the testing that’s been done in an individual and how long that individual tests positive because some people can can have pcr positivity for many weeks not just days but many weeks and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are infectious for that long in fact we know that they are not infectious for that long um there are some examples of individuals who have had uh that have tested pcr positive and then after several days several weeks have tested uh after testing negative have tested positive again we’ve had some examples in korea and that was not an example of re-infection um there’s what we are trying to do in the instances where there may be an individual that tests positive again we need to look at a few things one is how the tests were collected what samples were collected the tests that were used to see if there are any issues of false positivity or false negativity and what we ideally would like is to look at sequencing if the virus can be isolated if sequencing can be done so we can look and see if somebody has been reinfected the third thing that we’re looking at is the immune response that an individual has after infection you’ve heard us talk about this quite a lot there’s a lot that we’re still learning we expect that individuals who are infected with the sars kobe 2 virus develop an immune response we don’t know for how long that immune response lasts we don’t know how strong it is or how long it lasts and that is something that is currently actively under development and of course somebody will have protection from reinfection while they have those have those antibodies um so it’s a long-winded answer to say we don’t know yet but we are actively following up any examples where this may be suggested thanks very much dr van kerkov the next question comes from antonio broto from the spanish newswire fa antonio could you unmute yourself and ask your question hola buena is yes the question was about the russian vaccine so thank you very much this is bruce elward who’s heading up the hub for the actic accelerator as everyone on the call is aware we have now dozens and dozens indeed a hundred well over 170 vaccine candidates that are under evaluation around the world at different stages 26 of those have been in clinical trial one of which as people on the skull will be aware was the russian vaccine and it was not one of the vaccines that are in the kovacs portfolio i think there was a specific question about the nine that are in the portfolio it does not include that vaccine or those vaccines and in terms i think there was a specific question about whether or not we would see uh the w.

h.o uh expanded use of that we don’t have sufficient information at this point to make a judgment on that and we’re currently in conversation with russia to get additional information understand the status of that product the trials that have been undertaken and then what the next steps might be add anything sorry dr swaminathan on the line do you want to add anything no margaret that’s fine i don’t want to add anything thank you so much the next question goes to kai kupashmit from science kai could you unmute yourself and go ahead yes thanks for taking my question so very very big picture question i’m curious so you know following the the who numbers um on code 19 you can kind of see that globally the numbers are leveling off now i’m aware that this is you know as a pandemic this is a lot of different outbreaks you know all going on at the same time each with its own dynamic i’m just curious whether they can speak a little bit to you know the global picture at the moment how do you see it do you expect the numbers globally to to kind of stay at this spot or even go down what’s the dynamic if you take the very big picture of you at the moment thanks um i think i can start with maria bruce and others may may wish to weigh in i think yes you mean you are right that the numbers vary from week to week from month to month from geography to geography but i think what we have to keep in mind is a very small proportion of the world’s population have actually got been exposed to this virus and have developed an infection and have developed an immunologic memory to the virus so this virus is a long way to burn if we allow it to it may move in certain populations more efficiently depending on behavior it may move in in certain populations depending on whether people are spending more time inside or outside it may return in in colder periods it may it may do many things but the one thing i think we have to remember is most people the vast majority of people remain susceptible to this infection countries i think in terms of the overall global picture there are still a number of countries that are very much dealing with extensive uncontrolled community transmission with all of the consequences that go with that with pressure on the health system uh preventable debts um and uh and all of the socio-economic damage that goes uh with that having to take very very strong measures to try and control the disease there is a number of other countries at the other end of the spectrum who have previously brought the disease under control but are now experiencing spikes in the numbers of cases mainly related to clusters of infection around particular events around particular context uh around crowds around gatherings and other things and they’re struggling obviously to bring those clusters under control in order to prevent community transmission reigniting and i think that’s probably the key issue here once you get community transmission under control and you get back to clusters or sporadic cases you have to try and keep it there because if you allow if you take pressure off this virus it will slip back towards community transmission and once community transmission takes off establishes itself and becomes intense then you have all the consequences of the health system under pressure death rates rising hospitalizations rising so the the key objective uh for us all is to try and suppress infection to a point where we have control at community level and then risk manage our way through this and we have to make some difficult trade-offs opening schools versus crowded gathering places we need to make choices and some of those choices are not easy they are hard and i think that’s going to be the struggle over the coming months making good choices governments making good choices communities making good choices and individuals making good choices and that requires good information that requires good data that requires knowledge and being able to act the dg said it in the speech he said we have the tools we have a number of tools that we know that work we need to continue to apply them and we need to as as he has alluded to and bruce as well we need to accelerate the development of vaccines and we need to be able to pay for a massive expansion in our capacity to to deliver vaccines to everyone that needs them but i would characterize the global situation now yes we’ve seen a a plateauing of numbers kai and i know you track that you track that every day but this is like the cascades of a waterfall you can go down one level and you think you’re in calm water and you go over the next level and you’re in a waterfall again so i do think uh we need to be very very careful calm waters do not mean the storm is over we may just be in the eye of the storm and we don’t know it so i think absolute vigilance now and those countries that have made progress please retain that progress you will lose that progress if if you relent if you become complacent those countries that are in community transmission the dg keeps saying it there is always time to turn it around some of the countries now that have the best numbers are countries that had terrible outbreaks only a few months ago look at italy look what italy has achieved in terms of its ability to control this disease it is never too late to put this virus under pressure so those countries that are making have made progress give us hope but those countries who have made progress need to remain vigilant if i could just add i just i mean we’ve said it many times but the trajectory of this pandemic in every country is in our hands it remains in our hands and i think that we need to say that as much as we possibly can because there is hope of countries that have been in terrible situations as mike has just said that have turned it around and the trajectory is in our hands and it depends on the actions of countries it depends on the actions of governments of communities of individuals there are many situations where we have choices where we can reduce our risk of exposure and it is really really critical that as societies open up that we minimize the infections the number of people that get infected even among people who are at a lower risk of developing severe disease because they may also pass the virus to somebody else who may be of a vulnerable category who could develop a severe disease need hospitalization and die and i think that’s really really important and i think what we’re learning seven months in is that the actions that need to be taken at the different levels to suppress transmission to reduce mortality now with the tools we have now are fairly clear it’s the implementation that is incredibly difficult and the consistency and the vigilance and the focus to do this having clear plans but localized adapted implementation is really really difficult and to have this done at the scale that’s necessary depending on the intensity um and what we’re seeing for countries that are opening up that are seeing these clusters really quick action to stamp out and put out those individual fires where those outbreaks are happening is proving successful so as an individual avoid the crowded places where a mask where appropriate listen to your governments if you’re asked to stay home please do so because there are many frontline workers essential workers who are out there who are doing incredibly hard work that are keeping people alive everybody has a role to play and we will say this over and over and over again that we have control we have power that we can play a role in this and really do everything we can to prevent ourselves getting infected and preventing ourselves from passing it to someone else thank you very much doctors ryan and dr van keerkoff i’d also remind you we’ve as i said we’ve got a wealth of expertise in this room and on the line i mentioned dr sumiya swaminathan i we also have dr hanan balcke who can talk about the therapeutics arm of the act accelerator among many other topics we also have dr edward kelly who can talk about the health systems arm of the act accelerator so you’ve got a great opportunity here today the next question goes to simon attaba from today news africa simon please unmute yourself and go ahead thank you for taking my question this is simon ateba from today news africa in washington d.

c it’s been six months since the first confirmed case of kovite 19 was recorded in africa between then and now more than a million cases have been recorded and over 24 000 people have died however these cases are mainly concentrated within five countries in africa south africa egypt nigeria ghana and algeria i was wondering do we know exactly why some countries are affected more than others and what are other countries doing right that than this that these five countries are not doing thank you yeah thanks simon i think uh there’s a number of factors at play here i think if i remember correctly you said south africa nigeria ghana egypt and uh what was the other one ghana and if you look at those those are very highly popular so i think egypt and nigeria and south africa probably the most populous countries in africa so yes we would expect the most cases to be in those countries because that’s where we have the most people some other factors south africa would have imported disease some much earlier than other countries quite early in the course of this pandemic the pandemic has had longer to generate its its epidemic curve in in that situation equally nigeria as well so some of these countries are highly connected if you look at these countries they’re very connected through um direct airline routes and others to europe and they may have imported disease earlier they also um have a lot of family and other links with other countries so there may be elements of how the disease and when it was introduced into into those countries also i would argue that paradoxically these five countries actually have relatively strong public health systems they have good surveillance systems they have good national labs and they may actually be detecting more cases than some other countries so the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and in this case i think countries with stronger public health laboratory systems tend to find cases more quickly so equally though on the other side there are risk factors associated with these countries and that is large dense urban populations in nigeria in south africa in egypt uh and therefore on the other side of it there are uh pockets of poverty and uh and and and um large pockets of urban poverty in which this disease can spread uh much more much more easily so i’d say there are factors in two directions simon these countries are more at risk these countries have larger populations these countries have strong surveillance capacity to detect but also there are real reasons why these countries are at higher risk given their population distribution and their dense peri-urban and urban populations maria and yeah just just to briefly add to say in addition to what mike has said um i think one of the things we need to accept that in all countries there are unrecognized cases that are not being picked up by current surveillance strategies that are not being picked up by current testing strategies and while africa has done an incredible job of building and increasing and expanding testing capacity to to be able to detect covet 19 cases it isn’t evenly distributed throughout the entire continent and so i think i think there may be unrecognized cases that way there’s also demographic differences where you have younger populations median age of a population is younger than some countries perhaps in europe in north america and you have different prevalences of underlying conditions which put people who are infected with the cyrus covi virus at a higher risk of developing severe disease therefore possibly being detected by the health system and i think there’s a number of factors there and and i think in the beginning of this pandemic we were asked this question a lot of why aren’t we seeing so many cases in this country or that country so it’s a combination of factors i think one of the things that i find quite interesting are the results from the early zero epidemiologic studies there’s a variety of them a large number of them that are happening across the globe more than 100 at present and some of the early results in africa are suggesting that there are people who have detected antibodies meaning that they have been infected but they were unrecognized they weren’t picked up by the current system and so i think we we also need to look at that data as well um and perhaps they didn’t develop a severe disease they didn’t develop a disease and therefore weren’t picked up so as mike has said it’s a number of factors that are largely contributing to why we see differences in testing and differences in detection across countries thank you very much dr brian and dr van kerkov the next question is from bianca rottier from eel global brazil bianca can you unmute yourself and ask your question thanks a lot margaret for taking my question here yeah bianca i’m correspondent in switzerland for global news and global the largest tv network in brazil and china my question is about china that announced today that chicken wings imported from brazil tested positive for cov19 so what should be done in a situation like this can we get infected by the virus from food including frozen food what are the risks what are the recommendations for consumers people that are the people that work in transportation of food and also in production and packaging and of course to companies and governments as well thanks a lot so thanks for the question i can start and and maybe mikey would like to supplement so yes um you know we are aware of the reports of of the these these tests um what we understand um is that china is testing on packaging they’re looking for the virus on packaging and they’ve tested a few hundred thousand samples of looking on packaging and have found very very few less than 10 positive in in doing that we have issued guidance with fao on food handlers and working with food working with frozen foods working with live foods to keep people safe in their working environment we know that the virus can be can remain on surfaces for for some time but the virus can be inactivated on your hands if you wash your hands or use an alcohol based rub and there’s way and if the virus is actually in food and we have no examples of where this virus has been transmitted as a food borne whereas someone has consumed a food product the viruses can be killed like viruses other viruses as well can be killed if if the the meat is cooked so we’d have issued guidance on how to ensure that people who are handling these products can work safely and may i just add because i think people are already scared enough and fearful enough in a cobit pandemic uh it’s important and that we track uh findings like this and it’s important that we don’t discount scientific evidence where we find it but it’s also important that people can go about their daily lives without fear people should not fear food or food packaging or the processing or delivery of food food is very important and i would i would hate to think that we would uh create an impression that there’s a problem with our food or there’s a problem with our food chains they’re under enough pressure as it is already we will continue to track findings like this but as maria said there is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in transmission of this virus and people should feel comfortable and feel safe in the now there are many other reasons why we need to protect and we need to cook our food properly and there are many other contaminants of food that occurs but i think we should not be placing cobit as a risk in this in this area i just i think it’s important that we we don’t conflate observations like this into a major concern around food our food from a cobalt perspective is safe but there are many other reasons that we need to keep our food chain safe and and many many people work very very hard across the world to ensure that our food is of safe and of the highest quality and dr van kerkov the next question goes to michael from cnn michael can you unmute yourself and ask your question uh good afternoon from ottawa this is michael basic here i’m a contributor to cnn opinion um there’s been a lot of talk thank you for taking my question there’s been a lot of talk about the expected demand for the new vaccine but as you know antibacters have taken to social media in a big way in fact i’d say there’s almost a virus of disinformation out there about the future vaccine and according to a cnn poll in may and this is quite shocking about one-third of americans said they would not get vaccinated against coronavirus even if it were widely available and low cost and then just quickly i interviewed just now the head of rotary international john alco and he said one of the end games of covet crisis will be vaccinations and that there will be resistance however there’s a lot to learn from polio in terms of how to overcome the resistance so my question is what needs to be done have governments underestimated the degree of resistance and is it too late to counter that effectively thank you thank you for the question because it’s absolutely important that there’s work on both sides on the vaccine acceptance and also on the vaccine hesitancy and wgo takes this extremely serious because as you mentioned there are there are already problems with routine vaccination and we’ve seen that the problems are related either to mistrust on institutions or on scientific information but also because of the very rapid access to uh incorrect information that happens through social media and so on so double joe has been working in the past years and it’s intensifying its work with the social media platforms to ensure that that that there is early detection of incorrect information and there are also people looking for information that they have access to the the right sites that provide solid uh and scientific based information on vaccines but this is a absolutely uh work stream that was taken very seriously thinking that we will need to have a a rapid uptake in many countries as vaccines become available thank you if i could just add some of the things we’re doing right now about this issue in addition to what mary angela just said is that we’re engaging with a lot of different groups right now to discuss vaccine understanding what a vaccine is what a vaccine does what it’s meant to do what it what it can’t do how these are being developed to be a safe and effective vaccine even though it’s a rapid development their steps are not being skipped in terms of safety and in terms of efficacy and also to understand acceptance and demand and so we’re working with different groups to work on communication packages listening and so this could be worked on now as the vaccine itself is being developed but what we understand from most countries that are that are communicating with us most groups that are working with us civil society individuals that most people want access to a safe and effective vaccine so there’s a lot of different avenues that we are pursuing but really trying to increase vaccine understanding acceptance and demand is something that we take very very seriously and we’re listening and we’re learning and we’re developing those communication packages and maybe also speaking to the cost of doing all of this we need to invest in in now in a dialogue with people with communities in in creating the conditions in which this vaccine these vaccines we hope can be introduced in the most successful way there are reasons for vaccine hesitancy there are reasons for lack of acceptance of vaccines and they range from specific fears about the vaccine to distrust of government there are many different reasons and bruce has vast years of experience in polio overcoming issues and misunderstandings and misinformation for many years at myself if you think about congo in eastern congo in the last year and a half we were using an investigational use vaccine brand new vaccine in a population in the middle of a highly conflictual situation with a very disrupted society and through the work that we unicef the government and others did with communities we had 97 acceptance of vaccine amongst eligible people for that vaccine that’s incredible that’s a great testament to the people of congo to their understanding to their acceptance but it’s also a two-way street there must be a dialogue people need to be allowed to have a conversation about vaccines and have a proper conversation it’s not a one-way street it’s not about shoving things down people’s throats it’s about having a proper discussion good information a good discussion on this and people will make up their own minds and i think science and government have a job to do and that is to make the case i think communities and people have a job to do which is to listen to that case and hopefully the result of that will be a widely accepted successful vaccine that could bring this pandemic to an end ruth hi thanks mike and and michael thank you for the point i don’t want to belabor it because others have covered the big points but um first no one’s underestimating this and one of the ways and things that we’re doing to address it also is to make sure that we’re putting together an integrated package of tools and that’s what the act accelerator is all about we all want a silver bullet but we want to make sure we have multiple ones we need better faster diagnostics we need therapeutics we need the vaccines not everyone may use a vaccine it may not work in everyone so we need the other tools and as mike has been emphasizing we need those tools now especially the diagnostics to be able to get the massive step change in terms of the coverage of folks who number one know their status whether or not they have the disease and number two whether or not they’re still shedding and they’re isolated properly so that’s the reason and again one more of the arguments as we do all these pieces to work now to be prepared for optimum uptake that we also have the other tools maria made the point but it’s another thing to emphasize one of the key things we’re trying to do with the accelerator is to move and parallel things that we would normally do in sequence normally we do the research and development then we do the manufacturing and the pre-qualification then we work on the delivery issues but in this again maria i think you referred to it we’re trying to do all of those almost in parallel that’s why we need the money up front that’s how we’re going to be successful if we do all the work on the r d we don’t have the resources to do this community preparedness work exactly as you’re speaking to we won’t be as successful as we want to be we won’t get the coverage that we need and we won’t stop this as quickly as we could with this with the new tools that are coming online thank you very much dr air with dr samar dr vanquierkov and dr ryan for all those fantastic answers uh the next question goes to yeli noir yeah please unmute yourself and go ahead okay thank you for sending my question uh my question is still about the vaccine so we show has always been promoting the equal distribution of vaccines so now i want to ask how many countries now have publicly declared that if they have an effective vaccine against kobe 19 being developed and they will treat it as a public good for the world and what are the positions of the major countries that have now have most developments in the vaccine research thank you i think this is a question for dr mary angela again thank you for the question that’s a very hard discussion at the moment because we are talking about a vaccine a safe and effective vaccine being a public health group and we are talking about ensuring that there is equitable access to the technologies that are developed and that they reach all countries that they they benefit populations in all countries not only a high-income country so so this is a and we’re we’re going through a moment where we see that some countries are are are doing bilateral agreements with companies but at the same time we have a global movement uh we are working together in international organizations doubly joe with the vax and alliance agave and working together discussing the member states the organization of a global facility in this this global facility will be a poor mechanism to to procure invest in vaccine candidates and ensure that countries who are participating it’s open to all countries will have access to the vaccines once they are they they prove to be safe and effective so far we have a 167 countries already engaged in this process so i think it’s uh it’s very reassuring that we have such a global commitment towards uh uh ensuring that there is once a technology is available that there would be a a commitment to ensure that equitable access on a timely fashion that all countries which are reached by the vaccines thank you thank you very much dr marie angela simone and we’ll now move to the next question we’ve only got time for a couple more questions because we’ve got a hard stop at 6 30.

the next question goes to john miller from reuters hi thanks very much um as we look around the world we see a lot of unilateral deals between companies and countries for vaccines and we heard earlier this week dr tedrow is talking about uh only being about 10 of the way towards the uh the act accelerator goal including the the kovacs component of that and i’m wondering do you have concern that these unilateral deals whether it’s between switzerland and a company or the u.

s or europe that they are competing um with efforts on a multilateral level uh to address this problem and perhaps in a more comprehensive way thanks uh thanks so much for the question um it relates a little bit to the question that we just heard uh you know it’s an interesting situation we’re in when we first started uh talking about vaccines of course against this disease everybody was quick to say it’s so important that we have enough of these products and we equity distribute these products but then of course we’ve seen a lot as as you just mentioned of countries now moving forward on bilateral deals we call them uh and or multilateral deals to try and secure access for their populations and the motivation behind that at a certain level of course they can be understood but what’s interesting now and it’s a little bit the point that marie angela just spoke to is over the last couple of months there’s been an increasing recognition among countries that they it is not enough to vaccinate their own populations and they’re also recognizing that they don’t need to vaccinate their whole populations immediately to get the biggest bang potentially from these vaccines and what we’re seeing more and more is that even in fact just over the last few days even weeks we’re seeing countries that have set bilateral and multilateral deals coming to us and saying look how do we work with you to make sure that we’re part of a solution that ensures that this rolls out simultaneously to the world like the director general said there’s self-interest in this as well as the moral case for it because there’s a recognition we cannot get the global economies moving again we cannot get travel trade transportation the world is just too interlinked and what we’ve got to do is get pressure off the health systems because that’s been what the real drag on the economies have been in the course of doing that will save lives and we can do that again a little like marie angela mentioned by vaccinating a proportion of the global population together much more effectively than if we were to try and do pockets of it you know completely one at a time and it’s it’s it’s it’s been encouraging and just striking how many countries that are doing deals and on the other hand remember as countries are making deals and the rest they’re sending very loud messages that they want these vaccines and then manufacturers have a whole new confidence that they need to expand their capacities they need to produce more of these products produce more of it at risk so the key thing at this point is how do we harness all of those investments into a global solution and that’s what the director general was speaking about it’s the time now that we’ve got a we have hard evidence that the best solution is to roll this out simultaneously globally every economy is interlinked today it just will not work otherwise and as we as we move toward that now it’s the trying to work out okay the nuts and bolts if you’ve bought a lot of vaccine over there how do we work with you to make sure that that can be part of a global solution and that’s really where we are and remember we have some time to sort this out we hear a lot of panic about buying and deals etc but we have a couple of months to work together as a global community to find the solution to this so we roll these out in the way that’s going to be most effective so a global solution where we’re all pooling our risks pooling our procurement would be the ideal if we do separate deals then it is how do we coordinate these so that we don’t prejudice any part of the world in a way that’s ultimately going to be detrimental to everyone even those who uh work to try and vaccinate their own populations completely first so um yeah perhaps i’ll leave it at that but marie angela you’ve been a a big piece of this work anything that uh i think the the fact that if you are betting in one or two candidates we have around 200 uh vaccine candidates at the moment you know so what’s your best bet you know we don’t have any any any of the facts vaccine candidates has finished the the clinical trials yet so we don’t know which one will be different which one will actually prove to be safe and effective so we are encouraging countries to join a global facility because we will have access to more candidates and you have a better chance to to actually have concrete access be able to procure one of the successful candidates i think this is the main issue sorry just going to come back on it for one second because again the director general in his comments he mentioned some numbers that are so staggering right 10 trillion dollars in global stimulus financing fiscal stimulus financing to deal with the consequences of this disease not even the causes and the kind of numbers that we’re talking about to try and roll out a global solution are a fraction of that so again coming to the points that we were discussing earlier countries are recognizing that they’re recognizing that if we don’t get a global solution there’s going to be waves of global fiscal stimulus financing needed to try and get out of this crisis similar to what happened with the global financial crisis and that’s the situation that nobody wants to be in so i think all of these factors are coming together i’m sorry i can’t remember the name we’ve asked the question i apologize but it’s a fantastic question we have an opportunity we have a window and so now it’s aligning all of these deals so that they roll out with the right timing it’s not who bought the vaccine almost it’s how they use that vaccine in a globally coordinated manner for a global solution to a global crisis thank you so much dr elwood and dr dr chamel for those fantastic answers we’re really running out of time so last question we go to north africa to morocco and the question is from oha-san abdellah from moroccan news uhasan please unmute yourself and ask your question foreign i think this question will be for dr ryan yes so your question was about the number of cases and and what um the country should be doing about it yeah we’ll uh uh just uh trying to get the exact numbers uh sorry forgive me for morocco maybe maria you can start yes so according to our data as of uh yesterday 35 195 cases new cases in the last week almost 8 000 cases in the last week maybe two and the number of this i think is 556 and i think if you see the situation it’s not the number of cases but the trend is on the increase both in the number of cases and and so i think morocco should uh do do more especially to reverse the increasing trend that we’re we’re seeing now compared to many countries actually if you see the number of this it’s low but with the increasing trend you know it may if it continues to increase it may get serious so our advice is with the increasing trend to be more aggressive in the interventions that they they take tailored to of course the covert situation at sub national levels and and below and tailored action can be taken in areas where there is more contribution of cases because we don’t think that the situation is very even throughout the country so they can focus where the concentration of cases is and where especially the new cases are coming uh from but the last august the week of august three is the highest since the outbreak actually started in terms of the number of cases which is six star close almost close to seven thousand in in a week which is the highest number of cases reported and if we can supplement as well well the numbers for example across the eastern mediterranean north africa middle east numbers in places like saudi arabia pakistan and others are falling and in the gulf countries we’ve certainly seen rapid increases in morocco in lebanon now unfortunately and that’s a big concern in the aftermath of the explosion there is the the rising number of cases lebanon and the stress that the health system is under but similarly in syria and iraq and and and of note in the last 24 hours iraq has the most cases new cases reported from the eastern mediterranean region i believe that’s the first time where iraq has had the top number of cases for for that region so i think we’re seeing a very dynamic situation in the region morocco has also had some previous issues of clusters of infections and prisons and other places and again it shows that the difficulty when you get clusters established in certain areas and certain groups you may end up with those clusters extending into full-blown community transmission so morocco is not alone in north africa or in the in the in the eastern mediterranean with an increasing trend of cases and as the dg says every country now needs to double down examine what it’s doing where it’s doing at national and sub-national level and effectively use the tools that we do have and morocco has if you go back over the last number of months actually morocco had a very very low level of disease right the way through the early parts of this pandemic so there’s no question that morocco has the capacity to do that every country has had to contend with flare-ups every country has had to contend with this disease bouncing back question is not does the disease bounce back the disease bounces back it happens it’s a virus it exploits weaknesses and gaps in our system the real test is how do we react how do we respond as a government as a community as a society as and as individuals to that reality and i think that’s what we would ask each country to do don’t lose hope when the disease bounces back don’t blame others take action everyone takes action together in response to a jump and disease then the disease will will go away it will be pushed away i think in too many countries we tend to look for scapegoats we tend whose fault is it that the disease is back who made a mistake in an emergency response there’s no time for that it’s a time for action when the emergency is over you sit down and then you say okay who did what who was slow who was fast and during an emergency we need everyone to act together and act quickly and i think morocco has demonstrated right away through this pandemic its capacity to keep disease at a low level morocco needs to get back there again with many other countries who are in a very similar situation uh thanks margaret um just to mike’s point this really comes back to kai uh makai asked earlier about this leveling of virus that we’re seeing globally i mean what we’re actually seeing and as mike talks about all the time is two factors the first is the scale of the susceptibility in the world the vast majority of the population in the world is susceptible to this disease the second thing that we’re seeing is the stringency of the application of control measures is dropping people are coming closer together as murray has been talking about mass are being used always the way that they should etc and so any leveling of the disease that we’re looking at it’s just allowing you into a sense of false security because this disease like mike’s been emphasizing has lots of space uh to to to still cause trouble when it does level uh chi we have to take advantage of that opportunity to really get the testing in place get the isolation capacity in place get the contact uh tracing and quarantine working because the vaccines are not going to be here tomorrow but the virus is here today which means we’ve got to use the tools we have today or we’re going to see these flares just like our color from morocco emphasized but there’s so much can be done long before we have a vaccine thank you so much and on that important note of hope and action i will close the press conference remember we will post the audio files and we will send also post a copy of the director general’s speech uh now i’ll hand over to the dg dr tedros to for final words yeah thank you so much so thank you to those who have joined today and see you on monday for our upcoming our next presser thank you thank you

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