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GLOBAL PANDEMIC

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Important Announcement

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WHO UPDATE: DECEMBER 29, 2021  

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Staying Safe Over the Holiday Season

Dr. S. Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO

December 2021

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Important Announcement

WHO warns of Omicron Covid variant:  World must prepare for "very high" global risk.

November 29, 2021

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A crucial opportunity to DONATE and . . . 

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. . .Thank with acknowledgment the tireless dedication 

of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. leading infectious

disease expert working to mitigate the

ongoing COVID pandemic.

Humanity in the USA and Around the World 

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says health preparation needs to "be revved up" before the Omicron variant hits the US.

  • The preparation includes getting more people vaccinated and boosted, Fauci said Sunday.

  • His remarks come after the Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa and spread to other countries. 

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Learn More and . . . Make Your Donations at:

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Join in . . . and Learn More at:  CPHIA2021

Media briefing on new WHO Hub for pandemic &

epidemic intelligence with Dr. Tedros

Must See Video - September 1, 2021 

See Also:  

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Special Announcement

20 September 2021

Courtesy, WHO

President Biden announces the U.S. will

donate another 500 Million

vaccine doses at the 

Global COVID-19 Virtual Summit

Must See Video - September 22, 2021 

Video Courtesy, The Hill

GLOBAL REMINDER:

"ALL NATIONS" MUST CONTRIBUTE  TO ENSURE COVID-19 VACCINE EQUITY.

- EPACHA Foundation -

Press Briefing by White House COVID-19

Response Team and Public Health Officials

Must See Video - July 22, 2021 

Video Courtesy,  The White House

We need to regain control over COVID-19!

WHO:  Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Epidemiologist

Must See Video - 7 July 2021

Must See Video

On 2 June 2021, the Government of Japan hosted the virtual Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The event aimed to accelerate access to 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for lower-income economies via the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment.

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Important Announcement

April 26, 2021

"Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need."

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Quote Courtesy, U.S. President Joe Biden 

Important Announcement

United States will remain a member of WHO

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci - January 21, 2021

Courtesy, United Nations

Global Vaccination Plan

17 February 2021

Addressing virtual meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the goal of providing vaccines to all as

“the biggest moral test before the global community,”

underlining that

everyone, everywhere must be included.  

Video Courtesy - United Nations

"Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Two years ago, as people gathered for New Year’s Eve celebrations, a new global threat emerged. HO’s health emergency system immediately swung into action, establishing an Incident Management Support Team, to run the emergency response and requesting more information about the reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, China.

Although we had little information, we had enough experience and expertise to know that this looked serious. Early on we worked out that beating this new health threat – a new coronavirus potentially capable of spreading quickly around the globe – would require three things.

Science to both understand the pathogen and find solutions to beating it, and solidarity to share and deliver those tools wisely and equitably.

Science. Solutions. Solidarity.

And there were major successes.

This includes the rapid development of a comprehensive package of technical guidance on how to ready countries to detect, treat, communicate, and prevent the spread, within two weeks of the first report of the cluster of pneumonia of unknown cause.

The sharing of the genome, which triggered the development of diagnostics within the first three weeks of 2020. A multi-organisational supply chain system was quickly set up, which included solidarity flights, that collectively delivered personal protective equipment for health workers and medical and oxygen supplies for patients.

WHO quickly convened scientists and researchers in January 2020, and regularly thereafter, to develop a research roadmap for COVID-19 that accelerated the science around the virus and the creation of new health tools.

This included global solidarity trials on new vaccines and treatments to speed up research and development processes. And WHO and partners created the COVID-19 Tools (Act) Accelerator in April 2020 to accelerate access to tests, treatments and vaccines.

We deployed emergency response teams to support governments in their times of greatest need. Working with clinicians and practitioners around the world, WHO developed a comprehensive living guidance for the clinical management of COVID-19.

A common corticoid steroid was found to be effective in cutting the risk of death in those with severe disease in September 2020. The development of new vaccines proved so effective at cutting serious disease and death – they represent a scientific masterclass.

The increased level of coordination between WHO and Member States is exemplified by more than 3,500 national regulatory authorizations in 144 Member States, following the approval of vaccines through the WHO Emergency Use Listing.

However, while science delivered, politics too often triumphed over solidarity. 

While there were 1.8 million recorded deaths in 2020, there were 3.5 million in 2021 and we know the actual number is much higher. This is not to mention to the millions of people dealing with long-term consequences from the virus. 

Populism, narrow nationalism and hoarding of health tools, including masks, therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, by a small number of countries undermined equity, and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of new variants.

Misinformation and disinformation, often spread by a small number of people, have been a constant distraction, undermining science and trust in lifesaving health tools. In the huge waves of cases currently seen in Europe and in many countries around the world, misinformation which has driven vaccine hesitancy is now translating to the unvaccinated disproportionally dying.  

It is vitally important that the established Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens can develop a pathway for the scientific research of pathogens, including for the origins of SARS-CoV-2. And we hope to see progress quickly in the New Year.

But, I still remain optimistic that this can be the year we not only end the acute stage of the pandemic but we also chart a path to stronger health security. 

Building on the successes and failures we must not only share vaccines faster and more equitably with COVAX and AVAT, we must support countries in manufacturing and rolling them out to everyone. And access to new treatments must also follow.  

This virus will continue to evolve and threaten our health systems if we don’t improve the collective response. Right now, Delta and Omicron are twin threats that are driving up cases to record numbers, which again is leading to spikes in hospitalisations and deaths.

I am highly concerned that Omicron being more transmissible, circulating at the same time as Delta - is leading to a tsunami of cases. This is and will continue to put immense pressure on exhausted health workers and health systems on the brink of collapse and again disrupting lives and livelihoods.

The pressure on health systems is not only because of new COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalisation but also a large number of health workers are getting sick themselves. The unvaccinated are many times more at risk of dying from either variant. 

 

Omicron is moving so quickly, in addition to vaccination, public health social measures are also needed to stem the wave of infection, protect health workers and systems, open up societies and keep children in school.

I welcome innovative solutions to reaching vulnerable communities that have not received vaccination yet because the primary doses are the most important for people to develop immunity.  Bottom-up microplanning with strong community engagement and mobile vaccination teams, which have been highly effective in ridding most of the world of polio, are another way to get vaccines to the hard-to-reach.

WHO will support countries as they look to improve access to COVID-19 tools and catch up with routine immunisation.

Mental health must also be treated as a core element of our response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the G7 and G20 this year, I challenged leaders to ensure that by the end of this year, countries have vaccinated 40% of their populations and 70% by the middle of 2022. 92 Member States, out of 194, missed the 40% target. This is due to a combination of limited supply going to low-income countries for most of the year and then subsequent vaccines arriving close to expiry and without key parts - like the syringes!

And, in the case of about 20 countries, supply chain and distribution issues are also impacting rollouts. 40% was doable. It’s not only a moral shame, it cost lives and provided the virus with opportunities to circulate unchecked and mutate.

In the year ahead, I call for leaders of government and industry to walk the talk on vaccine equity both by ensuring consistent supply and helping to get vaccinations actually into people.

Vaccine supply, for now at least, is improving although the emphasis on boosters in rich countries could cause low-income countries to go short again.

I call on leaders of rich countries and manufacturers to learn the lessons of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and now Omicron and work together to reach the 70% vaccination coverage.

This is the time to rise above short-term nationalism and protect populations and economies against future variants by ending global vaccine inequity. 

I want governments, industry and civil society to work with us on a campaign that targets 70% vaccine coverage in every country by the start of July. I also want to ensure COVID-19 care pathways with new treatments are available in every single country. And to ensure people get on treatment at the optimum time, we need to get tests everywhere. Ending health inequity remains the key to ending the pandemic.

As this pandemic drags on, it is possible that new variants could evade our countermeasures and become fully resistant to current vaccines or past infection, necessitating vaccine adaptations.   

The Technical Advisory Groups for Virus Evolution and on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition continue to review evidence of the variants and analyse the performance of COVID-19 vaccines against them.

Any new vaccine update would potentially mean a new supply shortage, so it’s important that we focus on building up local manufacturing supply to help end this pandemic and prepare for future ones.

One way to increase production of lifesaving tools is to pool technology. WHO’s mRNA technology transfer hubs are moving ahead in developing an mRNA vaccine. Recently, the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool and the Medicines Patent Pool finalized their first licensing agreement with the Spanish National Research Council for a serological antibody test.

I hope there are many more breakthroughs like this in 2022, including for vaccines and treatments.  Sharing technology and know-how, as well as waiving the intellectual property rights around COVID-19 tools should have happened early on in the pandemic. But it’s never too late to come together to do the right thing.

In 2022, WHO will work with our Member States to build well-financed health systems, strengthen preparedness and ensure the equitable distribution of health tools. From the new WHO Bio Hub System, which offers a reliable, safe, and transparent mechanism for WHO’s 194 Member States to voluntarily share novel biological materials; to the new WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, based in Berlin - WHO will build mechanisms to enhance partnership.

In this vein, the development of a new, binding accord between nations on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, will be a key pillar.

I hope to see negotiations move swiftly and leaders to act with ambition. This is the moment for leaders to banish the politics of populism and self-interest, which are derailing the COVID-19 response and threaten to undermine the response to the inevitable next disease X.

While 2021 has been hard, I ask everyone to make a New Year’s resolution to get behind the campaign to vaccinate 70% by the middle of 2022. We have 185 days to the finish line of achieving 70% by the start of July 2022. And the clock starts now!

If we drive this campaign together, we’ll all be in a much better place by this time next year. Happy New Year. . . "

See Also:

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Looking back as the world moves

forward with the . . .

Global COVID-19 Pandemic!

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WHO declares the new coronavirus

outbreak a Public Health Emergency

of International Concern

January 30, 2020

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Courtesy, UN - WHO

Learn more / get latest UPDATES & INFO

on the following web page:

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Opening remarks of the Secretary-General's appeal for global ceasefire - 23 March 2020

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres 5a

. . . This is crucial . . . 

To help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy.  To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.  

 

Let us take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking shape among rival parties in some parts to enable joint approaches to COVID-19.  But we need much more. 

End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. 

It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. 

That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.  

Important Reminder on . . .

Human Rights and COVID-19

Response and Recovery

23 April 2020

Learn more at:

GLOBAL HUMANTARIAN RESPONSE PLAN COVID-1

Let's All Support Global Health Workers

During this Global Health Emergency!

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2021: Year of Health and Care Workers 

2021 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF HEALTH AND CA
2021 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF HEALTH AND CA
2021 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF HEALTH AND CA

Learn more on the following web page:

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HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II:  NO TIME FOR GEOPOLITICAL TURF BATTLES

HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF THE HASH

Courtesy, The Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan - Washington, D.C.

31 March  2020

The following text excerpt is  an Op-ed by His Majesty King Abdullah II, and presidents Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Halimah Yacob of Singapore, Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia and Lenín Moreno Garcés of Ecuador

"No time for geopolitical turf battles.  We need a global alliance to fight the pandemic . . . Our nations, societies and economies are slowing down, almost grinding to a halt in the face of a global, external threat that transcends borders, ethnicities, and creeds. Public life has come to a virtual standstill. But these unprecedented measures of social distancing will be hard to sustain over a long period of time. 

 

Nations are turning inward as they try to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, closing borders and imposing drastic executive measures in a retreat that risks leaving every country fending for itself. However, we can contain and counter COVID-19 more effectively by knocking down the barriers that hinder knowledge exchange and co-operation. 

Crises like these tend to bring out both the best and the worst in people. It is our responsibility as leaders to encourage the former and contain the latter. Our countries are at varying stages of the crisis but we all see and admire the strong spirit of solidarity and the many people who are passionately trying to save lives or keep indispensable services up and running. They give us hope and offer inspiration that our societies may not only weather this crisis but also grow stronger and more connected."

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Read entire Op-ed on the following web page:

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Queen Elizabeth II Addresses the U.K. in

the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 5, 2020

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Must See Video

" . . . While we have faced challenges before, this

one is different. This time we join with all Nations across the globe in a common endeavour using the great advances of science and our distinctive compassion to heal.  We will succeed, and

that success will belong to every one

of us. . . For now, I send my thanks

and warmest good wishes to all."

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President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa addresses Nation on COVID-19 measures

March 30, 2020

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Must See Video

Courtesy, eNCA CDC

" . . . There is each of all of us, South Africans . . . and the residents of our country who are standing together as one in confronting this National health emergency.  Amongst us are the men and women who rise at dawn every day and labour through the night to keep this country going. 

 

I speak of the farm worker who is helping to keep us supplied with food.  I speak of the technician in the power station working shift after shift to keep the lights on.  I speak of the caregiver in the old-age home; the childcare home and the hospice who comes in every day to tend to the most vulnerable of our citizens. 

 

I speak about the taxi driver, the refuse collector, the bus driver, the supermarket cashier, the hospital cleaner, the petrol attendant and all those essential workers."

"You are our unsung Heroes, and . . .

WE SALUTE YOU!"

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa

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Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan for first time since start of Coronavirus outbreak

March 10, 2020

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Must See Video

Courtesy, https://www.scmp.com/ -  CDC

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Wuhan – epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak – on March 10, 2020, as the number of new infections in mainland China continued its downward trend, with just 19 cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, confirmed the day before. It’s the first time Xi has visited the stricken capital of Hubei province since the epidemic began.

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