"The number of new cases of #covid19 reported to WHO has now declined for 6 weeks, and deaths have declined for 5 weeks”, says @DrTedros at @WHO presser. "However, we still see a mixed picture around the world.” Deaths went up in Africa, Americas and Western Pacific last week.
@DrTedros @WHO “Increasingly, we see a two-track pandemic: many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions”, says @DrTedros.
@DrTedros @WHO "With the increased global transmission of variants of concern including the Delta variant, lifting restrictions too quickly could be disastrous for those who are not vaccinated”, says @drtedros.
@DrTedros @WHO "The inequitable distribution of #covid19 vaccines has allowed the virus to continue spreading, increasing the chances of a variant emerging that renders vaccines less effective”, says @drtedros.
@DrTedros @WHO Notes he has called for a global effort to vaccinate at least 10% of the population of all countries by September, and at least 30% by end of the year. "To reach these targets, we need an additional 250 million doses by September”, says @DrTedros, 100 million in June/July alone.
@DrTedros @WHO Q: What can @WHO do to make China open up records for origins investigation?
“WHO does not have the power to investigate or enter countries without the express permission and cooperation of that country”, says @DrMikeRyan. “We work through cooperation, we work through consensus."
@DrTedros @WHO @DrMikeRyan Understanding origins is important, says @DrMikeRyan.
But: “It is not always easy to determine that. … We will continue in the second phase to propose the necessary studies to take our understanding and knowledge to the next level."
@DrTedros @WHO @DrMikeRyan Q about Brazil hosting Copa America.
“We would advise that any country undertaking such a mass gathering, especially in the context of community transmission, be extremely careful about ensuring that they have the proper risk management in place”, says @DrMikeRyan.
@DrTedros @WHO @DrMikeRyan “If that risk management cannot be guaranteed than certainly countries should reconsider their decisions to host or run any mass gathering”, says @DrMikeRyan.
@DrTedros @WHO @DrMikeRyan “We are seeing these worrying trends of increased transmissibility, increased social mixing, relaxing of public health and social measures and uneven and inequitable vaccine distribution around the world”, says @mvankerkhove “Those four factors are a really dangerous combination"
@DrTedros @WHO @DrMikeRyan @mvankerkhove Q about Chile.
"Chile is facing a challenging situation as are many countries in South America”, says @mvankerkhove. “Even if the pandemic feels like it's over for some of us, it's not over for the for the world."
@DrTedros @WHO @DrMikeRyan @mvankerkhove “High levels of vaccination coverage are the way out of this pandemic”, says @DrMikeRyan “Right now, it's not 100% clear from the data, where the figure for vaccination coverage should be in order to fully affect transmission, but it's certainly north of 80% coverage."

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More from @kakape

17 May
Some fascinating new data on another deadly pandemic:
Researchers have sequenced a full and two partial genomes of the 1918 flu from lung tissue in a museum collection in Berlin.

Story here, thread to come:
First of all:
This data comes from a preprint posted on @biorxivpreprint, so all the usual caveats about research that has not been peer-reviewed apply.
@biorxivpreprint What we already knew:
There is very little genomic data on 1918 flu. Basically two full genomes from the US (one from a woman buried in permafrost in Alaska, one from a soldier who died in Camp Upton, NY) and a few dozen short fragments.
Read 14 tweets
14 May
Getting vaccinated this week was a “bittersweet moment”, for him, says @DrTedros at @WHO press conference. “On the one hand, vaccination is a triumph of science, and global solidarity", he says. On the other hand, global vaccine inequity is continuing.
@DrTedros @WHO “My thoughts were very much with the health workers around the world who have been fighting this pandemic for more than a year”, says @DrTedros.
"The fact that so many are still not protected is a sad reflection on the gross distortion in access to vaccines across the globe."
@DrTedros @WHO "I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents”, says @drtedros. "But right now, I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.”
Read 6 tweets
12 May
The most comprehensive review of how the world responded to #covid19 and how to prevent the next pandemic was published today.
It will likely be the basis of discussions in coming months and years and so I read it for you.

Story here, thread to come:
Who wrote the report?
This is the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR), established last year in response to a resolution of the World Health Assembly.
It consists of 13 members led by @HelenClarkNZ and @MaEllenSirleaf.
@HelenClarkNZ @MaEllenSirleaf (To be completely transparent:
I was actually interviewed by this panel in February but only about the communication aspects of the pandemic. I have no other involvement with this report or the panel.)
Read 23 tweets
10 May
"Globally, we are now seeing a plateauing in the number of #COVID19 cases and deaths, with declines in most regions”, says @DrTedros at @WHO presser. "But it’s an unacceptably high plateau, with more than 5.4 million reported #covid19 cases and almost 90.000 deaths last week."
@DrTedros @WHO “We've been here before”, says @drtedros. “Over the past year, many countries have experienced a declining trend in cases and deaths, relaxing public health and social measures too quickly, and individuals have laid down their guard, only for those hard won gains to be lost."
@DrTedros @WHO "We are still in a perilous situation”, says @DrTedros.
"The spread of variants, increased social mixing, the relaxation of public health and social measures and inequitable vaccination, are all driving transmission."
Read 5 tweets
10 May
Norway’s expert committee „does not recommend the inclusion of vaccines based on adenoviral vectors in the national vaccination program“

Should not come as a surprise to those who have followed @GretchenVogel1 and my reporting

H/t @Sciencenorwayno
@GretchenVogel1 @Sciencenorwayno I have made the point again and again that his is about context.
In this case on top of low infection rates (see page 9):
- mRNA vaccines are becoming available faster in Norway
- 2nd dose of mRNA now to be given after 12 weeks, so more people will get first dose faster.
@GretchenVogel1 @Sciencenorwayno If the context changes, decision may too:
Recommendation is "based on the level of knowledge we have at present… Changes in infection rates, new virus mutants, unforeseen problems with vaccine deliveries and new information about side effects could lead to other conclusions"
Read 4 tweets
7 May
“I know that this is not a politically easy thing to do. So I very much appreciate the leadership of the United States", says @DrTedros at @WHO presser on #covid19 about US support for #TRIPSwaiver “We urge other countries to follow their example.”
@DrTedros @WHO "We are in an unprecedented crisis that requires unprecedented action”, says @drtedros.
“The World Trade Organization provisions for IP waivers were designed precisely for a situation like this.
If we don't use them now, then when?"
@DrTedros @WHO This is important news:
"This afternoon, WHO gave emergency use listing to Sinopharm Beijing's #COVID19 vaccine, making it the sixth vaccine to receive WHO validation for safety, efficacy and quality."
Read 18 tweets

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