GENEVA | More than 30 billion dollars will be needed to develop tests, vaccines and treatments against the COVID-19, said Friday the world health Organization, on the eve of a donor conference.
The international initiative (known as ACT Accelerator) launched in late April by WHO and its partners to accelerate the development, the production and equitable access to new diagnostics, therapies and vaccines against the novel coronavirus will need ” $ 31.3 billion in the past 12 months,” said the agency in a press release.
To date, $ 3.4 billion have been promised. “It is necessary, therefore, approximately $ 27.9 billion, including $ 13.7 billion to cover the immediate needs,” said the WHO.
“It is an investment that is worth to be done. If we do not need to mobilise now, the human costs and the economic impact is going to get worse,” said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the special envoy for the international initiative, during a press conference.
“While these numbers appear significant, they are not, when we think of the alternative. If we spend billions now, we will be able to avoid spending thousands of billions later. It is necessary to act now, and together”, she added.
The fund should develop and distribute 500 million tests and 245 million treatments in countries with low and middle income by mid-2021, and $ 2 billion doses of vaccines in the world, half of which in countries with low and middle income, by the end of 2021.
“It is clear that to control the COVID-19 and save lives, we need vaccines, diagnostics and effective therapies in unprecedented volumes and at unprecedented speed”, said the director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“And it is clear that, since the whole world can be affected by the Covid-19, everyone should have access to all the tools of prevention, detection and treatment, and not only those who have the means to pay for them”, he added.
The pandemic of the new coronavirus that has killed at least 487 274 deaths in the world since China is a formal state of the onset of the disease in December, according to a report drawn up Friday by AFP from official sources.
A donor conference should be held on Saturday at the same time as a concert grand virtual in which mégastars of the music – like Shakira, Coldplay, Usher, or Justin Bieber – will mobilize to support the collection of donations in the medical research against the COVID-19.