WHO launches "landmark" int'l collaboration on developing COVID-19 technologies

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/4/24 23:32:50

File picture shows World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at a daily briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Li Ye/Xinhua)

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday launched a "landmark" international collaboration to accelerate the development of COVID-19 health technologies.

The new collaboration was launched at a virtual event co-hosted by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, French President Emmanuel Macron, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Addressing the opening of the event, Tedros said: "Today, WHO is proud to be uniting with many partners to launch the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator."

By launching the international cooperation, the WHO and its partners aim to "ensure all people have access to all the tools to defeat COVID-19," said the WHO chief.

"This is a landmark collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics for COVID-19," he said.

Noting that research and development play a central role, the WHO chief said since January, the UN health body has been working with thousands of researchers all over the world to accelerate and track vaccine development.

"We've also developed diagnostics that are being used all over the world, and we're coordinating a global trial on the safety and efficacy of four therapeutics against COVID-19," he said.

A number of global health actors and private sector partners, as well as other stakeholders, joined the new global collaboration. Among them are Global Fund, UNITAID, Wellcome Trust, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"We agree that alongside evidence-based public health measures, innovative COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are needed... to save millions of lives and countless trillions of dollars, and to return the world to a sense of 'normalcy,'" they said in a joint statement published on the WHO website.

"We understand we cannot do this alone, and that we need to work together in unprecedented and inclusive partnership with all stakeholders," the statement said.


blog comments powered by Disqus