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News, May 2020
3.2 Million Deaths and 153 Million Corona Virus Infections, Mostly in the US, Brazil, India, Mexico, UK, Italy, Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Colombia, Iran, Argentina, and Peru
May 3, 2021
As of May 03, 2021, 15:36 GMT,
World 153,818,430 infection cases, and 3,220,248 deaths.
A list of countries with the highest Coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths:
1 USA 33,181,941 infection cases, and 591,071 deaths.
2 Brazil 14,754,910 infection cases, and 407,775 deaths.
3 India 20,129,183 infection cases, and 220,571 deaths.
4 Mexico 2,348,873 infection cases, and 217,233 deaths.
5 UK 4,420,201 infection cases, and 127,538 deaths.
6 Italy 4,044,762 infection cases, and 121,177 deaths.
7 Russia 4,831,744 infection cases, and 111,198 deaths.
8 France 5,652,247 infection cases, and 104,819 deaths.
9 Germany 3,431,028 infection cases, and 83,904 deaths.
10 Spain 3,524,077 infection cases, and 78,216 deaths.
11 Colombia 2,893,655 infection cases, and 74,700 deaths.
12 Iran 2,555,587 infection cases, and 72,875 deaths.
13 Poland 2,805,756 infection cases, and 68,105 deaths.
14 Argentina 3,005,259 infection cases, and 64,252 deaths.
15 Peru 1,810,998 infection cases, and 62,126 deaths.
Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 – 3 May 2021
WHO, 3 May 2021
Earlier today, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced the end of the most recent Ebola outbreak, three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu. More cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally in the past two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic. India and Brazil account for more than half of last week’s cases. Sweden will donate 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to COVAX, which follows similar donations by France, New Zealand and Norway, with positive signs from some other countries. The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator currently faces a funding gap of 19 billion US dollars, and we estimate that we will need a further 35 to 45 billion dollars next year to vaccinate most adults around the world. The G7 countries could mobilize a substantial portion of these funds themselves, and lead a global effort to accelerate vaccination around the world.
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.
Earlier today, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced the end of the most recent Ebola outbreak, three months after the first case was reported in North Kivu.
I congratulate the government, health workers, communities and all WHO staff who were involved in the response.
This has only been possible thanks to a concerted, comprehensive and consistent approach, using vaccines and therapeutics alongside proven public health measures, with empowered and engaged communities.
COVID-19 is a very different disease, but the approach is the same.
The absence of any one of these key measures presents a weakness that this virus will exploit, as we are seeing all over the world.
More cases of COVID-19 have been reported globally in the past two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic.
India and Brazil account for more than half of last week’s cases, but there are many other countries all over the world that face a very fragile situation.
In India, WHO is providing critical equipment and supplies including oxygen concentrators, lab supplies and mobile field hospitals.
We’re also providing advice for people on how to provide care at home for families that are unable to find a hospital bed.
For patients with severe or critical disease, WHO recommends treatment with dexamethasone.
And WHO and the WHO Foundation are raising funds to support the need for oxygen and related supplies globally.
In the meantime, we call on everyone to continue to follow WHO and national advice on keeping safe: maintain physical distance, avoid crowds, wear a well-fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth properly, open windows, cover coughs and sneezes and clean your hands.
What is happening in India and Brazil could happen elsewhere unless we all take these public health precautions that WHO has been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic.
Vaccines are part of the answer, but they are not the only answer.
On Friday, WHO gave Emergency Use Listing to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, making it the fifth to receive WHO validation.
Emergency Use Listing is one prerequisite for vaccines to be purchased and supplied through COVAX. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval and to import and administer a vaccine.
And we’re pleased to note that Gavi has signed an agreement with Moderna for 500 million doses of vaccine on behalf of COVAX.
This morning I met with Sweden’s Minister for Development Coordination, Minister Per Olsson Fridh, who informed me that Sweden will donate 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to COVAX.
Tack så mycket, Sweden, for this donation, which follows similar donations by France, New Zealand and Norway, with positive signs from some other countries. We call on all other countries to follow the example these countries have set, and donate through COVAX to help accelerate equitable distribution and access.
COVAX has now shipped almost 50 million doses of vaccine to 121 countries and economies, but we continue to face severe supply constraints.
Solving this dilemma demands courageous leadership from the world’s largest economies.
Next month, leaders from the G7 countries will gather for what may be the most significant meeting in its history.
The G7 countries are the world’s economic and political leaders. They are also home to many of the world’s vaccine producers.
We will only solve the vaccine crisis with the leadership of these countries.
The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator currently faces a funding gap of US$19 billion, and we estimate that we will need a further US$35 to US$45 billion dollars next year to vaccinate most adults around the world.
The G7 countries could mobilize a substantial portion of these funds themselves, and lead a global effort to accelerate vaccination around the world.
We face a shared threat that we can only overcome with shared solutions:
Sharing financial resources;
Sharing vaccine doses and production capacity;
And sharing technology, know-how and waiving intellectual property.
Today it’s my great honour to be joined by Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom.
As Prime Minister, Mr Brown hosted the G20 Summit in 2009, when under his leadership the G20 countries committed to making an additional US$1.1 trillion available to alleviate the most acute economic crisis since the Great Depression.
We now face an even more severe crisis, and we need the same kind of leadership.
Gordon, thank you so much for your leadership, and thank you for joining us today. You have the floor.
[GORDON BROWN ADDRESSED THE MEDIA]
Thank you Gordon, and thank you once again for your clear and powerful call to world leaders.
Finally, I would like to recognize three important days that we are observing this week.
First, today is World Press Freedom Day.
WHO values the role of a free and fair press in informing the public and in holding governments and institutions accountable.
Second, Wednesday marks World Hand Hygiene Day, a reminder that clean hands save lives.
And third, Wednesday also marks the International Day of the Midwife, an opportunity to celebrate the vital role that midwives play every day of every year, and especially during the past year.
Christian, back to you.
WHO welcomes Sweden’s announcement to share COVID-19 vaccine doses with COVAX
3 May 2021 News release Geneva, Switzerland Reading time: Less than a minute (240 words)
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the Government of Sweden’s announcement today to share 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the COVAX Facility to provide life-saving vaccines to people at risk from COVID-19 in low income countries.
“Sweden’s announcement that it will share 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with COVAX is a superb gesture that must be replicated urgently, and repeatedly, by governments around the world to accelerate the equitable rollout of vaccines globally,” said Dr Tedros, who met today with Sweden’s Minister for Development Cooperation, Mr Per Olsson Fridh, during his visit to WHO’s headquarters in Geneva.
COVAX urgently needs 20 million doses during the second quarter of 2021 to cover interruptions in supply triggered by increased demands for vaccines in India where COVAX’s main supplier of the AstraZeneca product is based.
Dr Tedros added: “Such support will ensure that people in vulnerable countries, especially, in Africa, will be able to receive their second doses through the COVAX initiative. Sweden’s generous support is very timely as it comes at a time when the world needs it most.”
WHO and its partners are advocating for countries to make contributions, like Sweden’s, to donate doses from their stocks to boost vaccine supplies to COVAX to deepen vaccination coverage in low income countries and to ensure populations in such places receive needed second doses. Several other countries have made similar commitments recently, including New Zealand and France.
WHO lists Moderna vaccine for emergency use
Moderna vaccine adds to the growing list of vaccines that have been validated by WHO for emergency use.
30 April 2021 News release Reading time: 2 min (519 words)
Today, WHO listed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA 1273) for emergency use, making it the fifth vaccine to receive emergency validation from WHO.
WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX Facility vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
The vaccine has already been reviewed by WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), which makes recommendations for vaccines’ use in populations (i.e. recommended age groups, intervals between shots, advice for specific groups such as pregnant and lactating women). The SAGE recommended the vaccine for all age groups 18 and above in its interim recommendations dated 25 January 2021.
The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine on 18 December 2020 and a marketing authorisation valid throughout the European Union was granted by the European Medicines Agency on 6 January 2021.
The WHO EUL process can be carried out quickly when vaccine developers submit the full data required by WHO in a timely manner. Once those data are submitted, WHO can rapidly assemble its evaluation team and regulators from around the world to assess the information and, when necessary, carry out inspections of manufacturing sites.
The Moderna vaccine is an mNRA-based vaccine. It was found by the SAGE to have an efficacy of efficacy of 94.1%, based on a median follow-up of two months. Although the vaccine is provided as a frozen suspension at –25 ºC to –15 ºC in a multidose vial, vials can be stored refrigerated at 2–8 °C for up to 30 days prior to withdrawal of the first dose, meaning that ultra-cold chain equipment may not always be necessary to deploy the vaccine.
WHO emergency use listing
The emergency use listing procedure assesses the suitability of novel health products during public health emergencies. The objective is to make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the emergency, while adhering to stringent criteria of safety, efficacy and quality. The assessment weighs the threat posed by the emergency as well as the benefit that would accrue from the use of the product against any potential risks.
The EUL pathway involves a rigorous assessment of late phase II and phase III clinical trial data as well as substantial additional data on safety, efficacy, quality and a risk management plan. These data are reviewed by independent experts and WHO teams who consider the current body of evidence on the vaccine under consideration, the plans for monitoring its use, and plans for further studies.
As part of the EUL process, the company producing the vaccine must commit to continue to generate data to enable full licensure and WHO prequalification of the vaccine. The WHO prequalification process will assess additional clinical data generated from vaccine trials and deployment on a rolling basis to ensure the vaccine meets the necessary standards of quality, safety and efficacy for broader availability.
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