@DrTedros "Last week, more than 15 million new cases of #COVID19 were reported to WHO from around the world – by far the most cases reported in a single week – and we know this is an underestimate"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "This huge spike in infections is being driven by the Omicron variant, which is rapidly replacing Delta in almost all countries"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "However, the number of weekly reported deaths has remained stable since October last year, at an average of 48,000 deaths a week. While the number of patients being hospitalized is increasing in most countries, it is not at the level seen in previous waves"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "This is possibly due to the reduced severity of Omicron, and widespread immunity from vaccination or previous infection. But let’s be clear: while Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it remains a dangerous virus, particularly for those who are unvaccinated"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "Almost 50,000 deaths a week is 50,000 deaths too many.

Learning to live with this virus does not mean we can, or should, accept this number of deaths"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "We mustn't allow this virus a free ride or wave the 🏳, especially when so many people around the 🌍 remain unvaccinated. In Africa, over 85% of people are yet to receive a single dose of vaccine. We can't end the acute phase of the pandemic unless we close this gap"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "We are making progress. In December, #COVAX shipped more than double the number of doses it shipped in November, and in the coming days, we expect COVAX to ship its 1 billionth vaccine dose"-@DrTedros #VaccinEquity
@DrTedros "Some of the supply constraints we faced last year are now starting to ease, but we still have a long way to go to reach our target of vaccinating 70% of the population of every country by the middle of this year"-@DrTedros #VaccinEquity
@DrTedros "90 countries have still not reached the 40% target, and 36 of those countries have vaccinated less than 10% of their populations"-@DrTedros #VaccinEquity
@DrTedros "WHO & partners are actively supporting these countries to overcome the bottlenecks they face, in leadership & coordination, lack of supply visibility, short shelf-life of donated 💉, limited cold chain capacity, vaccine confidence, 👩‍⚕️ shortages, & competing priorities"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "WHO is also paying careful attention to the impact of Omicron on #COVID19 vaccines"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "In September last year, WHO established the Technical Advisory Group on #COVID19 Vaccine Composition, or TAG-CO-VAC, a group of experts to review the implications of variants of concern on the composition of vaccines"-@DrTedros bit.ly/3fg0eA0
@DrTedros "Yesterday, TAG-CO-VAC emphasized the urgent need for broader access to the vaccines we have, and that further vaccines are needed that have a greater impact on preventing infection and transmission"-@DrTedros #COVID19 bit.ly/3fg0eA0
@DrTedros "Until such vaccines are developed, the composition of current #COVID19 vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure they continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "TAG-CO-VAC also said that a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original #COVID19 vaccine composition is unlikely to be sustainable"-@DrTedros bit.ly/3fg0eA0
@DrTedros "The group also emphasised that while some countries recommend #COVID19 boosters, the immediate priority for the 🌍 is accelerating access to primary vaccination, particularly for groups at greater risk of developing severe disease"-@DrTedros #VaccinEquity bit.ly/3fg0eA0
@DrTedros "The overwhelming majority of people admitted to hospitals around the 🌍 are unvaccinated. While vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe #COVID19 disease and death, they do not fully prevent transmission"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "More transmission means more hospitalizations, more deaths, more people off work, including teachers and #healthworkers, and more risk of another variant emerging that is even more transmissible and more deadly than Omicron"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "The sheer number of #COVID19 cases also means more pressure on already overburdened and exhausted #healthworkers. Protecting those most at risk also helps to protect health systems and 👩‍⚕️, which are once again under increased strain because of the burden of Omicron"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "A study published last year showed that more than 1 in 4 #healthworkers globally have experienced mental health issues during the #COVID19 pandemic"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "And data from several countries show that many #healthworkers have considered leaving or have left their jobs because of poor working conditions, insufficient staffing, and the distress of making life and death decisions every day under intense pressure"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "#HealthWorkers have done their best to protect us for two years; we must all do our part to protect them, by getting vaccinated, and by taking precautions to prevent becoming infected, or infecting someone else"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "And we must remember that #COVID19 is only one challenge that #healthworkers face every day. Taking the pressure off health systems will enable them to deal with the many other challenges they face, including providing care for pregnant women"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "Yesterday, WHO hosted a global webinar on the clinical management of #COVID19 during pregnancy, childbirth and the early postnatal period. 🤰 are not at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but if they are infected, they are at higher risk for severe disease"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "That’s why it’s vital that pregnant women in all countries have access to #COVID19 vaccines to protect their own lives, and those of their babies. We also call for pregnant women to be included in clinical trials for new treatments and vaccines"-@DrTedros
@DrTedros "Fortunately, mother to baby transmission in utero or during birth is very rare, and no active virus has been identified in breast milk"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "We’re also concerned by reports from some countries about women who have been separated from their newborn babies, which is unnecessary and can be harmful to the health and well-being of newborns during the critical first days after birth"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros "All women have the right to a safe and positive pregnancy and childbirth experience, and need high quality, respectful maternity care"-@DrTedros #COVID19
@DrTedros The full remarks by @DrTedros at the #COVID19 media briefing - 12 January 2021 👇 bit.ly/3I3oX7f

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More from @WHO

14 Jan
WHO recommends two new medicines for #COVID19, providing yet more options for treating the disease bit.ly/3flUftt Image
Baricitinib, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is strongly recommended for patients with severe or critical #COVID19.
WHO recommends that it is given with corticosteroids bit.ly/3flUftt
WHO has also conditionally recommended the use of sotrovimab for treating mild or moderate #COVID19 in patients who are at high risk of hospitalization: patients who are older, immunocompromised, with underlying conditions & those unvaccinated bit.ly/3flUftt
Read 7 tweets
13 Jan
Cities are often at the forefront of the response to health emergencies and need to be prepared.

🆕 WHO Framework outlines tools & resources for countries to strengthen health emergency preparedness in cities & urban settings 👉bit.ly/31N4iol Image
Cities are at the ❤️ of health & other essential services delivery, and also of national economies & security.

Strong urban health emergency preparedness requires multi-sectoral, whole-of-society & whole-of-government approaches. 👉bit.ly/31N4iol Image
Prepared cities are 🗝️ to a healthier future.

🆕 WHO Framework for Strengthening Health Emergency Preparedness in Cities and Urban Settings helps countries achieve this! 👉bit.ly/31N4iol Image
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
LIVE with @DrTedros at the Pre-Summit on #DisabilityInclusion in the Health Sector ⬇️

@DrTedros "Many of us either experience some form of disability ourselves, or we have a family member, or friend who experiences disability. But far too often, when they seek out health care, our brothers and sisters with disability are being left behind"-@DrTedros #DisabilityInclusion
@DrTedros "The barriers they may face are numerous, including the physical environment of health facilities, the attitudes of health workers, or the communication of health information"-@DrTedros #DisabilityInclusion
Read 8 tweets
12 Jan
A WHO stress management course, Self-Help Plus, has been shown to be effective in preventing mental disorders among refugees.
The likelihood of those who took the course having a mental disorder 6 months later was half that of those in the control arm bit.ly/3tjCmUs
The study, supported by the @EU_Commission, is the first randomized controlled trial to assess prevention of mental disorders among Syrian refugees experiencing psychological distress but without a diagnosis of a mental disorder bit.ly/3tjCmUs
The results suggest that the WHO stress management course Self-Help Plus could be scaled up as a public health strategy to prevent mental disorders in large refugee populations exposed to adversity bit.ly/3tjCmUs
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
There are different types of #COVID19 tests bit.ly/3FgUSPL
#COVID19 antigen rapid test - what are they best used for? bit.ly/34GZQIY
Who should be tested for #COVID19? bit.ly/3qig3ga
Read 6 tweets
11 Jan
Interim Statement on #COVID19 vaccines in the context of the circulation of the Omicron variant from the WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition bit.ly/3fg0eA0
Current #COVID19 vaccines under WHO Emergency Use Listing continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and death caused by all variants bit.ly/3fg0eA0
In the context of the circulation of #COVID19 Omicron variant, the WHO Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition urges broader access globally to current vaccines, particularly for those at risk of severe disease bit.ly/3fg0eA0
Read 6 tweets

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