The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a brief statement on April 24 said that it will launch a 'landmark collaboration' to accelerate the development, production, and equitable global access to new COVID-19 essential health technologies. The WHO said that the initiative is aimed at providing effective drugs, tests, and vaccines to everyone so they can prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19.
"The launch of the new collaboration is being co-hosted by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The virtual event will include senior United Nations, government, and public health and industry leaders from around the world," WHO in the statement said.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on April 6 had said that he planned to announce an initiative to accelerate the development of the vaccine and to make products available to everyone. "While we're looking for vaccines, unless we break the barriers to equitable distribution of the products, whether it's vaccines or therapeutics, we will have a problem, so we need to address the problem ahead of time," he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) faced a lot of criticism from the international community for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The United States had accused the global health agency of siding with China amid the pandemic and not pressuring the Communist government in Beijing enough to share full information about the disease. US President Donald Trump on April 15 announced that his country would halt the funding to WHO, accusing it of favouring China. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also demanded an independent inquiry into China's initial handling of the outbreak.
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