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WHO urges countries to make global political commitment to ensure equal access to emerging vaccine for COVID-19

GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged more countries to make a global political commitment so that any emerging vaccine for COVID-19 will be shared equitably.

Speaking at a press conference, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, vaccines for the novel coronavirus should be made available as a global public good, to ensure everyone had fair access to any life-saving products that are developed.

Tedros was speaking after concerns being raised that some countries including the United States could hoard any vaccines or drugs they develop to combat Covid-19, with poorer countries not getting access to the treatments they need. The WHO director-general said, many leaders around the globe have promoted the idea of making any vaccine a global public good, but that should continue to be promoted.

He added that more leaders should join the efforts, and they need to have a truly global political commitment and global consensus before they even have the product. The WHO's top emergency expert Mike Ryan said, the disease was highly active in Central and South America. He said, the current situation in Brazil, was of increasing concern especially in cities.

The Latin American country has now one of the global hot-spots for the virus. Ryan said, Brazil's health system was still coping, although some intensive care units were at a critical stage and under heavy pressure with more than 90 percent bed occupancy rates

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