The World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom said on Thursday that the world needs the development of a vaccine “in unprecedented quantities and at unprecedented speed” in order to defeat COVID-19.
Tedros made the remarks on Friday at a briefing on the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator ahead of a pledging event on Saturday.
“It’s clear that to bring COVID-19 under control, and to save lives, we need effective vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics – in unprecedented quantities and at unprecedented speed,” he said.
“And it’s clear that because all people are at risk of COVID-19, all people should have access to all the tools to prevent, detect and treat it – not only those who can afford to pay for them.”
Tedros noted that the public health measures largely deployed around the world to tackle the spread of COVID-19 were similar to those taken in the fight against Ebola.
He said the fight against Ebola had been successful because of the development of a vaccine, without which more deaths would have been reported.
The WHO chief’s remarks came as the number of COVID-19 infections globally closes in on the 10 million mark.
Currently, there are more than 9.6 million cases and over 489,000 deaths, according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The WHO earlier this week reported a massive increase in daily new cases, urging countries to find careful and creative ways of reopening their economies.
In his address on Friday, Tedros also called for equitable distribution of the ACTs to help in the fight against COVID-19.
“It’s clear that because all people are at risk of COVID-19, all people should have access to all the tools to prevent, detect and treat it – not only those who can afford to pay for them,” he said.