Importance of testing – WHO Press Conference (27 November 2020)

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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “Importance of testing – WHO Press Conference (27 November 2020)” – below is their description.

    World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, today (27 Nov) said that since the beginning of the pandemic, WHO has shipped “millions of tests and other diagnostic products all over the world.”

    Speaking at a virtual briefing in Geneva, Dr Tedros said, “WHO has emphasised the importance of testing, and provided the tools for countries to do it.”

    The WHO official said, “if you don’t know where the virus is, you can’t stop it. If you don’t know who has the virus, you can’t isolate them, care for them or trace their contacts. But testing must be strategic, in support of clear public health objectives. Everyone who needs a test should get a test. WHO’s guidance outlines how countries can test strategically based on their transmission scenario. It’s also important to remember that although testing is vital, it’s only part of the strategy.”

    Also briefing from Geneva, WHO’s Director of the Department of Immunizations, Vaccines and Biologicals, Dr Kate O’Brien said, “there is demonstrated experience of delivering ultra-cold chain vaccines, even in some of the most difficult and remote areas. But that has also taken enormous resources to do that. So, what we do need is we need a variety of vaccines that have different characteristics.”

    For his part, WHO’s Executive Director of its Health Emergencies Programme, said, “it’s highly speculative for us to say that the disease did not emerge in China. What we do know is the first clusters of human cases that were detected were in Wuhan in China, there was a massive response to contain that disease there, and we look forward to working with our Chinese colleagues, our Chinese scientific colleagues, to understand better the origins of the virus within China, or beyond China, wherever that leads.”

    Nearly 61 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 1.4 million have died, according to a Reuters tally.

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