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One year since health emergency declared by WHO

  • CNM Health Reporter

 

On 30 Jan marks one year since  the emergency declaration in the wake of  coronavirus outbreak.Read on full virtual press meet from WHO.

WHO Director General  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus underscores the need of vaccinating health care workers and older people since the vaccines are limited resource.

WHO Director General  Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared a public health emergency of international concern over the outbreak of novel coronavirus – the highest level of alarm under international law.

At the time, there were fewer than 100 cases of the disease we now call COVID-19, and no deaths, outside China.

This week, we reached 100 million reported cases. More cases have been reported in the past two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic.

A year ago, he said  the world had a “window of opportunity” to prevent widespread transmission of this new virus.

Some countries heeded that call; some did not.

Now, vaccines are giving us another window of opportunity to bring the pandemic under control. We must not squander it.

The pandemic has exposed and exploited the inequalities of our world.

There is now the real danger that the very tools that could help to end the pandemic – vaccines – may exacerbate those same inequalities.

Vaccine nationalism might serve short-term political goals. But it’s ultimately short-sighted and self-defeating.

We will not end the pandemic anywhere until we end it everywhere.

The world has come to a critical turning point in the pandemic.

But it’s also a turning point in history: faced with a common crisis, can nations come together in a common approach?

When a village is on fire, it makes no sense for a small group of people to hoard all the extinguishers to defend their own houses.

The fire will be put out faster if everyone has an extinguisher and works together, in unison.

More vaccines are being developed, approved and produced. There will be enough for everyone.

But for now, vaccines are a limited resource. We must use them as effectively and as fairly as we can. If we do that, lives will be saved.

That’s why I have challenged government and industry leaders to work together to ensure that in the first 100 days of 2021, vaccination of health workers and older people is underway in all countries.

“My message to governments is to vaccinate your health workers and older people, and share excess doses with COVAX, so other countries can do the same.”

“My message to people in countries that are now rolling out vaccines is: Use your voice to advocate for your government to share doses.

If you are someone at lower risk, please wait your turn.”

Health and care workers have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, but are often under-protected and over-exposed. They need vaccines now.

They and their families have already paid an extremely high price in this pandemic-he added.

Protecting the people who protect us is the right and smart thing to do.

In the early days of the pandemic, as you remember, people showed their love and appreciation for health workers by applauding on their balconies.

Now it’s time to show our love and appreciation for health workers by making sure all health workers are vaccinated.

“Today, I’m honoured to be joined by two health workers who have been delivering health services throughout the pandemic.”

 

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