COVID-19: WHO to make vaccines available globally

THE World Health Organisation on Tuesday announced that it is working to ensure that when a proven safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available, it will be accessible to all countries.

Its Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated this during a virtual session of the organisation’s 70th Regional Committee for Africa.

Ghebreyesus said the organisation has been working round the clock since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that African countries now have a preparedness and response plan in place.

Ghebreyesus, in a statement on Tuesday, added that the African continent is facing a health crisis unlike any before.

“Our continent is facing a health crisis unlike any we have faced before. Yesterday, we crossed one million reported cases in the region, with more than 20,000 deaths. The number of cases has doubled just in the past six weeks,” he said.

Stating that every country faces its unique challenges and there is no one size fits all solution, the WHO Director-General urged a comprehensive risk-based approach when using the tools available.

Ghebreyesus called on countries to put measures in place for surveillance, testing and contact tracing while focusing on the most vulnerable groups.

He added that countries have experienced significant outbreaks linked to events with a large number of people, including stadiums, night clubs and churches.

Ghebreyesus added that precautions must be taken at these places to minimise transmission.

The WHO boss said COVID-19 is not the only emergency to which the organisation is responding to.

“More than 100 people have now been infected and 43 people have died in a new outbreak of Ebola in the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thenationonlineng


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