COVID-19: 40 countries pledge €7.4bn for vaccine research, dev’t – WHO

COVID-19: 40 countries pledge €7.4bn for vaccine research, dev’t – WHO

Monday, May 4, 2020 10:31 pm

WHO chief, Tedros Ghebrelyesus

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), says leaders from 40 countries have pledged to support research and development for vaccine, diagnostics and therapeutics with 7.4 billion euros.

Ghebreyesus disclosed this at a news conference on Monday in Geneva, explaining that the fund would be used to carry out activities for COVID -19 research and development.

In a speech posted on WHO website, Ghebreyesus was quoted as saying: “ACT Accelerator, to support the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19 was inaugurated 10 days ago.

“Today, leaders from 40 countries all over the world came together to support the ACT Accelerator through the COVID-19 Global Response International Pledging Event, hosted by the European Commission.

“During today’s event, some 7.4 billion euros was pledged for research and development for vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics.

“This was a powerful and inspiring demonstration of global solidarity.

“Today, countries came together not only to pledge their financial support, but also to pledge their commitment to ensuring all people can access life-saving tools for COVID-19; accelerating development of products, but at the same time, access for all.’’

According to him, recent advances in science are enabling the world to move at incredible speed to develop these tools.

“But the true measure of success will not only be how fast we can develop safe and effective tools – it will be how equally we can distribute them.

“None of us can accept a world in which some people are protected while others are not. Everybody should be protected.

“None of us are safe until all of us are safe.

“The potential for continued waves of infection of COVID-19 across the globe demands that every single person on the planet be protected from this disease,’’ he said.

Ghebreyesus said WHO remained committed to working with all countries and partners to accelerate the development and production of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, and to ensure their equitable distribution.

He said this is an opportunity for the world to come together to confront a common threat as well as to forge a common future; a future in which all people enjoy the right to the highest attainable standard of health and the products that deliver that right.

“That’s what we mean by health for all. We have been saying it for more than 70 years, since WHO was created.

“But I think given the experience we have now and the difficulties we’re going through, it’s time to make it happen: health for all.

“But one of the best tools is also one of the most basic: clean hands.’’ he said.

The director general said the simple act of cleaning hands could be the difference between life and death.

He added that it remained one of the most important public health measures for protecting individuals, families and communities against COVID-19 and many other diseases.

“Tomorrow is Hand Hygiene Day; a reminder of the importance of clean hands for health workers, and for all of us.

“At the same time, we must remember that millions of people around the world are not

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