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ONE YEAR OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY — We will not end the pandemic anywhere until we end it everywhere — WHO’s briefing on COVID-19

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• The pandemic has exposed and exploited the inequalities of our world • We will not end the pandemic anywhere until we end it everywhere. • 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. • The world has come to a critical turning point in the pandemic. Tomorrow (Saturday 30th January, 2021) marks one year since I declared a public health emergency of international concern over the outbreak of novel coronavirus – the highest level of alarm under international law. There is now the real danger that the very tools that could help to end the pandemic – vaccines – may exacerbate those same inequalities. 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. This week we have released two products to close gaps in care and improve health outcomes globally. The first is the Essential Diagnostics List, a basket of diagnostics that WHO recommends should be available at point-of-care and in laboratories to improve timely and life-saving diagnosis. The second product is a new 10-year plan for neglected tropical diseases – a set of 20 illnesses that affect more than a billion people, most of them poor. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. Tomorrow marks one year since I 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. ONE YEAR AGO: A year ago, I 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…

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