World Health Organization Coronavirus Update Transcript – February 18, 2020 - transcription powered by Happy Scribe

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Including one thousand eight hundred fifty, does in the past 24 hours. China has reported 1000 800 new cases, including both clinically and lab confirmed cases outside China. There are now 800 4 cases in 24 countries with three days. In the past 24 hours, there have been 100, 10 new cases outside China, including 99 on the dam and Princess Cruise Ship. We have no cases of Corbitt, 19 outside China for more than a month. We are supporting national authorities in every country that has cases to track the virus and understand how people were infected.

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So far, there are 92 cases in both countries outside China of human to human transmission. At the moment, we don't have data on cases outside China or.

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At the moment, we don't have enough data on cases outside China to make a meaningful comparison on the severity of disease or the case fatality rate. We're following up with countries to get more information about what happens about each case and the outcome. However, we have not yet seen the sustained local transmission except in specific circumstances like the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Yesterday, I spoke to Singapore's minister of health and we were very impressed with the efforts they are making to find every case, follow up with contacts and stop transmission.

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Singapore is leaving no stone unturned, testing every case of influenza like illness and pneumonia. And so far, they have not found evidence of community transmission. I also spoke to the minister of health of Malaysia to discuss the Western Dam case and other aspects of their preparations. This signals showed the importance of all countries being ready for the arrival of the virus to treat patients with dignity and compassion, to protect health workers and to prevent onward transmission. Many countries are taking steps to prepare themselves with W.H.O.

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support. We have shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 21 countries and will ship to another one hundred six countries in the coming weeks by the end of this week. Forty countries in Africa and twenty nine in the Americas are due to have the ability to detect Corbitt 19. Many of these countries have been sending samples to other countries for testing, waiting several days for results. Now they can do it themselves within 24 to 48 hours. Some countries in Africa, including DRC, are now leveraging the capacity they are built up to test for Ebola, to test for coveted 19.

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This is a great example of how investing in health systems can pay dividends for health security. Other countries like Namibia, Nigeria and Timor Leste are running workshops with the media to ensure accurate and reliable reporting. Several countries are prioritizing surveillance and monitoring at ports of entry, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Serbia and South Sudan. We are also working with partners in some of the most fragile contexts, from Syria to the Central African Republic to prepare countries for the arrival of the virus.

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There are many other examples. We still have a chance of preventing a broader global crisis. W.H.O. will continue working night and day with all countries to prepare them.

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I thank you so much for joining us by phone. It's historic night. Q Those who are watching the search online, keiki raise your right hand side of the screen. We'll start by taking questions from the floor. Jamie Jeremy.

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That's right. Please use my cohering canary.

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James Associated Press you mentioned David part-timers, Erin Burnett and they're essentially this instances where this where has been a transmission trail carried out by China with China. How was it possible? Not sure, but initially it which we wanted to be quarantining.

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I think that was not to be a different activity after I actually had not. It turned out to spread the. Certainly this time, in my opinion, you are going to get anything that we think that.

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Was there a question in there, Jimmy? Yes. Could you repeat my resume? You know me well about the situation on the underbelly on the ship. Obviously, as it has evolved to the authorities in Japan, obviously we initially made the decision to finding passengers on that ship, which allowed passengers to be kept together in in an environment where they were could be observed or they could have separate accommodations and everything else. This was much more preferred, obviously, at the time, necessarily having everyone disperse.

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But obviously the situation on the ground has changed. Clearly, there's been more transmission than expected on the ship. And I think that targets in Japan are adjusting to that reality. Now I'm taking the necessary measures with other countries to to evacuate people, I said, and deal with their follow up in a different way. It's very easy in retrospect to make judgments on political decisions made at a certain point.

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How do you explain it? I think it's true. It's clear that they're centered here. The previous press conferences that there are sometimes environments in which I was just constrained and cruise ships and another hotel, Metropole, I mentioned before, another serve of particular. Environment in which disease can spread in a more efficient way. But again, in terms of the overall number of people on the ship, the vast majority of people on the ship do not have a.

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A good number do and a good number have very, very mild symptoms. So I think we need to, again, keep our heads here and put this in perspective. That unfortunate event occurring on the ship and we trust the authorities in Japan and the governments we're taking back, people will be able to follow up those individuals in the appropriate way to ensure that they get the appropriate care if they if are cases, and if not that they are reintegrated into their community support.

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Yes, it can be very important to study this particular event and to see what the issues have been that have led to transmission to to the people who've been on that ship so much as Jamie and Shane and Nina.

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You could just press the little button. Yes. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you. I would like to have you have you on your comments on the recent measures in between in Beijing. Believe me, everyone leaving the city less lady based on the game and not you. You had a column, you had a comment yesterday. I like to have a comment on that. Do you think it? I certainly think it's too much.

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No. I remember looking at the beginning of the crisis news that opened nationally, not measures waiting too long. Too long. You know, Bay is the country that is the opposite today, I believe now. So a word about it, a word about well, there is some really tough measures and maybe negative long after we are in French.

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If you do not need. Although the Ryan. Bosco was due to lose your just wanted to make it through it. He gave me a shot, I thought a dunk when I started his evaluation. Call Nashabi soon as you horsemen's to battle the mood in his DSL mathematic merely Dounia non enmeshing. There was a disturbance in your office building as your guest called Kendall. They did it. Isn't that don't you get some Serkin on that acriminal? Even if you don't do that, you should move more.

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I think there are many doo doo doo. You offered love. There's the pope, I guess. You said if you give me the conclusion, I guess she did it. Kakeru cement Alex de Undulation to Basie's. You'll see plenty of this to measure the Tosca now, apparently, because you have to play more. There are concerns about mental state transmission. Don't let them look into mongooses to see Bessie become. Don't keep them as you are popular domestic for 15 years or more.

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You'll be telling me is, damn it, what do you call me? I need to be asked about donkey esco. Say different gases, some of them so far. Also, don't give a shit. Biscoe MANAUGH the new 7E early lead. You read those Plutarch's astronauts who they do they on her Rumold a magical Mossimo visual so that non-contagious or substance to the secret of a clever move on to a long marriage. Not even remotely zil. Some of them are getting book.

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Don't know it was he though. He did. Thank you, friend. I. Right. If I read it. You guessed it. In this video version of this version. So currently the measures are evaluated based on them with. And so the use of the data, we have to imagine what could be said. Are you. If nothing is done and what could be this our new wisdom? What is the current situation with the data we have?

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And so with modernization has shown that it always measure on movement restriction of delayed the dissemination of the outbreak of two or three days within China. And a few weeks outside China. Two, three weeks. So based on this, then it shows that some measure, if implemented, could have an impact on the propagation of the outbreak.

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And that's why measures are now taken in Beijing to strengthen the control of the outbreak and postpone the peak and postponed the peak event. Give more time to to treat the the problem. So but in fact, we will look only after our sometimes when those measures are really effective, because it takes more or less from some studies we have now around the 19, 19 days between the onset of symptoms and the days where people are completely clear from the virus. Because it's a shame.

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The reason behind a small one. All one to put it on the lower end of the deal.

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Okay. Thank you. All my friends. All my friends. Yeah. Yeah. The original question is about a pedal steel metal stamped on national television. Start the machine now to handle something. You mentioned that you are not getting enough data from the other countries outside of China to show up to a problem that we started about to other country on bullshitting for provided they provide the data on what the reason behind that problem. And also for the film that you just mentioned, there is some modelling that to date has been delayed for the transformation and all the reweight told the world to data China.

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So that is a do a show modelling or from the China update that you are quoting from.

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Sure. With regards to the deaths of more countries. We fully recognize that all the affected countries are under extreme duress from their primary responsibility is to their their own citizens and to deal with public health challenge that they face. We continually ask that they share with us the raw data that we need. I would say that it hasn't been absolutely smooth sailing with with any country so far, it's been because we've we've had to request a number of countries to speed up to date shape, but we don't believe there has not been through a lack of transparency.

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But frankly, this has been through the urgency and the difficulties of gathering data in these situations, collating that data and then sharing it outside the country. And in some cases, their data protection issues, their citizen protection issues and other issues or sharing any kind of Ladenist or individualized data on individual patients. And then there are some logistical issues. We're very pleased with the with in general overall, with the cooperation we've received on that data sharing. And we hope that that continues.

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We do want to be able to see more and more data, things like community studies, hospital and transmission investigations. Jamie, the investigations aboard the they see princess to establish exactly what the conditions were that led to the transmission. And we would obviously like to be seeing those investigations early so we can use them to learn lessons and other circumstances that we face of the coming days and weeks. So again, we encourage all of our partners, both government and academic, to share with us that information which they can, which will help us as a global agency to provide the best possible advice and evidence to countries.

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And just while I have before just reflecting on our colleagues, the control measures in Beijing, I think if you look at what's happening on the government's authorities in China, I've spent a number of weeks pressuring the virus and you saw the numbers and dropped away. Now they've engaged in door to door surveillance and they're going around doing active surveillance. This is a very good public practice. First, your first. I mean, we've got gremlins in the system.

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Screens are going crazy, for example, but we like to see progressive implementation of Bodycount. So the first objective in Woolhandler is to contain the virus at the epicenter. And you've heard the Director-General speak fight the virus at the epicenter. Suppressing that virus now allows space to really do much more active surveillance while the authorities there are doing that active surveillance. They don't want the virus to return to other places. Beijing is a central point in the country where many, many workers returning to China are trying to do is while they're getting success and putting out one fire, they don't want the fire to start somewhere else.

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So they're taking very directed measures from ensuring the people returning to the city are observed and monitored. Now, you can argue whether those measures are excessive or whether they're restrictive of people. But there's a lot at stake here. There's an awful lot at stake here in terms of public health and in terms of not only the public goes to China, but of all people of the world. So what we like to see is well-thought out, evidence based public health measures that pay due respect for people's individual liberty and individual human rights.

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And finding that balance is sometimes. Right now, the strategic and tactical approach in China is the correct one. And also, you mentioned the strategic and tactical approach in places like Singapore. Now we're seeing countries more and more having very direct and well-planned operations to detect this virus containers. Stop it. And so that will spread. We want all countries to take that sort of public health evidence driven approach in the coming days and weeks. Is the weather.

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So these are not w.h or that these are that are coming from the expert network we have when we conduct the teleconference on a weekly basis with a number of moodily groups across the world and sue those groups usually after pushing their data on the scientific literature. But we have to look to have some preprint articles and this is where it comes from. But just a note of caution that, you know, modelling is based on assumptions. So do the modelling are getting better when you have a better data to put into the model?

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So currently with the austine on zos, we gets measure using assumptions. And I hope that soon we'll have much better results.

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Well, still more robust results won't be able to better data on those skills by those in the future. We'll just have one question for general. So just to others. You know you know, I have taken the data on a data gathering wondering.. for the international mission that trying to. Now, are they going into? And also, are they going to go testing our view? Because are you. I was wondering if you are confident of the numbers that are coming out of Qinghong with the appearance that it could spread pretty quickly within the Kamble system?

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There are some there. And the thing for DPRK, they're saying they have, you know, cases. Are you confident with that? Correct. On and on the expert team, they are travelling to the two provinces and based on the need, they may also travel to a home. So, you know, all options are open and on the specificly, you know, the one situation that this team can also travel. We had our W.H.O. experts already in one in starting from January.

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So we had presence on the ground that day. And the presence of the experts could could also help. But we were there before. The should keep your efforts Yin-Yang of others. At the moment, the two problems run down and choose list. We have differential impacts accessible to us as well as Beijing itself. And then it will be another decision to move out beyond that adage, whether the way that once again we was space search, certainly any there or a portions of vulnerable people will be prioritized in that regard, the DPRK.

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In fact, we have prioritized supplies for DPRK and the supplies for protective equipment should have left, I think, for their last night and this morning. I'll just need to confirm that for a very, very close contact. We have a meeting with the issue people are asking here in Geneva tomorrow and our representatives are there. We have no reason to believe that there are any specific issues here. And we will be providing them again with delivery agents to be able to make the diagnosis, although it will signal no indication that we're dealing with any at 19.

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They're the government. They're very anxious, as you can imagine, as all companies to make preparations and are seeking our technical and operational assistance to help them get ready. We'll take that one or two questions upon before we conclude them for today. Underland. Can you hear us?

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Oh, no. I had a. I don't want to go down. How did you get a new product? No. People can get in. I don't want to get upset with what to do in January. Haha. Yeah, how I you getting closer. Thank you.

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Yes, it's. It's very difficult to make that judgment. Purely from the data that's been presented in the paper yesterday. Clearly there have been at least an apparent drop in fatality through the outbreak. But remember, at the beginning of the outbreak, what people were finding were the severe cases. So you have a huge bias at the beginning of an outbreak because when you find out the real sick people coming forward now, we're going out looking for the sick, the less sick people.

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So you can have an active factual and false sense of mortality at the beginning. We saw that, remember, and the pandemic of H1N1, we saw fatality rates of 10 and 20 percent in the beginning because only the severe cases were presenting a few weeks later, the pattern was entirely different. So that's an important factor. There is also the fact that the fatality case with housing is different. So who better to the other provinces? And that may also reflect the fact that the pressure of the system in one of the has been so severe and the lessons that have been learned in debate and land are being applied elsewhere.

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People are getting into early or critical care. One of the issues that has been predicting the patients who have the co-morbidities and the underlying conditions and ensuring that their transition into the critical care or the severe care pathway early and that we're not locking up the system with the mild cases. And I think the system in China, for example, has got much better prioritizing goals, more likely to be severely ill into the system. It's also very difficult in critical care to ventilate so many patients.

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And do Atmel so many patients. It takes quite a lot of technical skill. It's not just the machinery, it's the technicians who use that. And again, bringing them up to speed, bringing in the emergency medical teams. Remember, one hundred and twenty seven emergency medical team, then ten thousand specialist medical workers were sent into a base from outside pre-trade pre certified medical teams who were used to mass casualty management. They would have helped to reduce case fatality.

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So what we're seeing is called a mixture of the fatality reducing probably because of better and better interventions over time, but also because we're finding more mild cases. So we need to be careful. Well, it's very clear, I think, that we need to remember this. Sometimes this is projected as a mild disease that most people just get a very mild disease and everything is over in a couple of days. And that's true for those who have died and for the younger people and adults who get that from the disease.

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That's great. But there's a significant number of people. Remember, 20 percent of people who get this disease are either severe or critically ill. So we really do have to focus on and engage in providing them with life saving interventions. We are graced with the fact that China has an advanced healthcare system that can provide such intensive care to so many. Our fear has always been that disease reaching a country with a weaker health system will not. Be able to mount such a response.

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And again, there are many, if you look at the numbers, many, many people have been admitted to hospital. Many have been released. But there are still lots and lots of people in hospital for a very long time. It takes a huge effort on behalf of the health system to have people in hospital on average for 20 days at the level of intensive care. So the system becomes over driven by so many people requiring such Long-Term Care. So we can see the stresses in the system.

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And we need to be. We need to be mindful of that. But our hope is as we fight more and more milder cases, that the overall fatality of the disease will be less, because obviously that's less scary for people. But we must remember that there are at risk groups, vulnerable people generally between the ages of 40 and 79 or older people with underlying medical conditions. And they can have a very severe course of disease. And we must be aware of that.

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If diseases imported into third countries, we need to prioritize the protection of those individuals, prioritize their clinical care. Thank you very much. For the last question for today and it's other decades. Can you hear us here? Chemical engines, chemical engineer. My God. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, just leave it on that and go ahead. Excellent panel.

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Development is progressing. It's my first clinical trials to begin.

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Thank you.

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We don't have new data since the research meeting. At this meeting, they were discussing here about having a county date vaccine by around 16 weeks from now. But again, this would be just to have the county date and then depending on safety first and deciding if it would be used in humans. So it's still a matter of weeks. Months.

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Yeah. And while we you're very supportive, we were working very, very closely with SAPI, with major donors and with the World Bank and others on the strategic investments that were going to be needed to develop vaccines, their growth. That's going to be a lot of money. We're very conscious that those funds cannot and should not be pulled away from supporting weaker health systems to get ready. This isn't the tradeoff between one or the other. We can save many, many lives in the coming months, with or without a vaccine.

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We all want to invest in the vaccine as a long term solution. But there are people sick now and there are health systems that are vulnerable now. So we need to balance our investments and invest in a weaker health. Systems are all systems. We can save a lot of lives to support therapy by testing the drugs we're currently testing and by getting everything in our system working. And then we do the other things and we develop the vaccine and we do have to make decisions on vaccine investment.

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And the DG will be working with SAPI, with the World Bank and with other agencies at local level to ensure that we get the strategic investments. We need the vaccine development without disrupting the investments we need in national systems to get ready. Maybe I'd like to add into that related to the first of all, the case fatality. When you see the number of cases in the rest of the world, we have 800 for cases and three days. But that doesn't mean that it will not increase.

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For us, this is a window of opportunity that we shouldn't squander. And we have to invest in preparedness and really using this window of opportunity to keep or to stay away from any serious crisis. So in order to use the window of opportunity, the maximum, we need to have a balance of the use of the public, those interventions immediately. And then the development of vaccine, we have to strike a balance. The vaccine could have been a long term because it could take up to twelve to 18 months.

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And this is like preparing for the worst situation. But in order to avert any serious problem in the rest of the world and use that window of opportunity to the maximum, it's the simple practical solutions that we should do that should really be our focus.

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While, of course, preparing for the vaccine. So that balancing act is very, very important. We do what should be done today and then we invest also in the future to prepare for the future. As Mike said, we're already discussing with partners on the vaccine development, but the approach is striking a balance and giving the right focus, especially to the things that we should do today. But one thing I'd like to underline is there is a window of opportunity if you see the case vitality rate lower than the number of those in the rest of the world, it's really low.

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Three out of 800 for even the number of cases, 840 is low, but it doesn't mean that it will stay the same. This is a window of opportunity that should not be missed. That's what I would like to underline. And in order not to miss this opportunity, we should do everything to contain it and finish within that window of opportunity. And that's why we're speeding up country, especially with weak health systems, in order to really minimize the impact.

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Thank you. Thank you very much. There's a federal statute to go through and look for the element of dealing with this. Just to let you know that our colleagues in eastern Mediterranean region will hold a press conference in Cairo tomorrow. Eleven o'clock Cairo time, 10:00 Virginia time, where our regional director will speak to media there on the preparedness in the region regarding public 19 and also about how information should be should be shared. At this press conference will be broadcast at ex-government show Сергей Twitter account.

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So journalists from here can also follow.