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WHO chief calls for global policy to expand access to COVID-19 tools

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Geneva, May 16 (IANS) World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged world leaders to come together and develop a new global policy to expand access to COVID-19-related technology achievements.

Speaking at an online press conference from Geneva on Friday, Tedros stressed that the potential vaccines, medicines and other technologies will provide additional hope of overcoming COVID-19, but “they will not end the pandemic if we cannot ensure equitable access to them,” Xinhua news agency reported.

“In these extraordinary circumstances, we need to unleash the full power of science, to deliver innovations that are scalable, usable, and benefit everyone, everywhere, at the same time,” the WHO chief said.

Noting that traditional market models will not deliver at the scale needed to cover the entire globe, he said solidarity within and between countries and the private sector is essential to overcome the current difficult times.

He told reporters that there are already wide-ranging efforts and initiatives aimed at incentivizing innovation while also ensuring access for all, and these initiatives will be important topics next week at the World Health Assembly.

“Global solidarity will accelerate science and expand access so that together we can overcome the virus. Until everyone is protected, the world will remain at risk,” he added.

–IANS

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