At a meeting held this Sunday in Rome, the director general of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, insisted with minister Marcelo Queiroga on the need to control the transmission of covid-19. The meeting took place on the margins of the G-20 ministerial meeting.
On social networks, Tedros explained that he spoke with the Brazilian representative about the increase in vaccine production in the country and the possibility of sharing this production with the rest of Latin America.
The head of WHO also indicated that he spoke about the delta variant, which is already prevalent in dozens of countries and scares the international community. Among the themes, however, is the “need to control transmission”.
For the international agency, vaccines are essential. But they cannot be the only weapons and governments need to maintain measures for the wearing of masks, social distancing where possible and other initiatives.
For months, Tedros’ speeches were manipulated by the Planalto Palace, while then chancellor Ernesto Araújo insisted on using meetings to deprive the WHO of power and question its recommendations. Similar attitudes were taken by ex-minister Eduardo Pazuello and by the more radical base of pocketbookism, which came to press for a bigger confrontation between Brasília and Geneva and even a rupture, repeating the actions of Donald Trump who left the WHO.
The arrivals of Carlos França to Itamaraty and Queiroga a Saúde reopened space for a dialogue between the government and the WHO, although strong doubts persist at the top of the organization about Jair Bolsonaro himself.
Queiroga, however, is seen as a “viable gateway” to get closer to Brazil, one of the points of concern at the WHO.
Seven days ago, in the only interview given to a Brazilian milieu since the beginning of the pandemic, Tedros indicated that certain advances in Brazil were positive. But he warned that it was not time for the country to relax control measures. Asked whether the worst in Brazil had been overcome and whether it was time to start removing control measures, he reacted without hesitation. “No, no”. “We cannot let our guard down,” he said.
Tedros spoke with the report on the sidelines of a closed event in Geneva, organized by the World Council of Churches and also with the presence of religious leaders from the Muslim world and former ministers.
According to him, the main concern of the WHO is associated with the virus mutations. “The delta variant is more dangerous and in many places it is taking the place of the virus,” he said.
But the Ethiopian pointed to what he believes to be advances in Brazil’s behavior in the face of the pandemic and also praised Marcelo Queiroga, minister of health. “I think he is doing his best,” he said.
“Things are improving. I hope that Brazil continues to press in the same direction,” he said. But Tedros insists there is no way to declare victory. “This is not the time to relax,” he repeated. Asked if he thought the government of Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) understood this, he responded positively. “Yes, they understand,” he assured her.
“We are engaged with them and they are engaged with WHO. We are working very closely, in a very regular interaction,” he said. Tedros, however, admits that this was not always the case.
Brazilian vaccine production is a bet
In the interview with UOL, Tedros also insisted that the solution involves expanding the production of vaccines and “sharing more”. In this strategy, one of the bets is to ensure greater production of doses in Brazil, including to start exports and supply to the Latin American region.
“We are collaborating [com o Brasil]”, he said. According to him, there is an effort to expand the production of Fiocruz and the Butantan Institute. Tedros also explained that the same vision will be used in an operation in Bangladesh and South Africa. fast,” he insisted.
“While we are fighting the pandemic at the moment, we are debating how to prepare Brazil for the future, especially in its capacity to produce vaccines”, explained the Ethiopian, who avoided giving his hand to the report and kept his mask at all times.
“Brazil can help itself and help many countries,” he said. “Brazil has the capacity and we are talking to Fiocruz and Butantan, in addition to working with the Ministry of Health,” he explained.