WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 on 1 July 2020
"Not testing alone. Not physical distancing alone. Not contact tracing alone. Not masks alone. Do it all". In the speech at the media briefing on 1-7- 2020, WHO Director-General emphasized that.
More than 10.3 million cases of COVID-19 have now been reported to WHO, and more than 506,000 deaths.
For the past week, the number of new cases has exceeded 160,000 on every single day.
60% of all cases so far have been reported just in the past month.
Not testing alone. Not physical distancing alone. Not contact tracing alone. Not masks alone. Do it all.
As you know, in March, Italy and Spain were the epicenter of the pandemic. At the peak of its epidemic, Spain had almost 10,000 cases a day, and Italy had more than 6,500 cases.
But both countries brought their epidemics under control with a combination of leadership, humility, active participation by every member of society, and implementing a comprehensive approach.
Both countries faced a daunting situation, but turned it around.
The fastest way out of this pandemic is to follow the science and do what we know works: the comprehensive approach.
Today and tomorrow, WHO is holding a second research and innovation forum, bringing together more than 1000 scientists from all over the world to take stock of the progress made so far, to discuss new research questions and knowledge gaps, and to define research priorities for the remainder of this year and beyond.
Research and innovation have played a vital role since the beginning of the pandemic – and even before.
In January, WHO published the first protocol for PCR testing for the new coronavirus.
In February, we brought together hundreds of researchers from around the world to identify research priorities.
In March, we launched the Solidarity Trial, a large international study to find answers about which therapeutics are the most effective.
And in April, with the European Commission and multiple other partners we launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, to catalyse the development and equitable allocation of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.
This pandemic is a scientific challenge, but it is also a test of character. We must act in the interests of global solidarity and our shared humanity.
We have a shared responsibility to ensure that all people have access to the tools to protect themselves, especially those who are most at risk.
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