THE global decline in reported Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases and deaths is continuing, World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.
“Reported cases and deaths have now both fallen more than 90 per cent from their peaks earlier this year,” he said
during a media briefing on Tuesday.
“This is a very welcome trend.
“Still, more than three million cases were reported to the WHO last week – and because many countries have reduced surveillance and testing, we know this number is under-reported.
“And 8,737 deaths were reported – 8,737 deaths too many.”
Ghebreyesus said there was no acceptable level of deaths from the Covid-19, when there are tools to prevent, detect and treat this disease.
“Many of us who live in high-income countries have easy access to these tools,” he said.
“We now take them for granted.
“But for many people around the world, these tools remain scarce commodities.
“It’s now more than two years since the WHO and our partners launched the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool, or C-Tap.”
Ghebreyesus said C-Tap was proposed by former Costa Rican president Carlos Alvarado Quesada to promote voluntary mechanisms to share intellectual property, know-how, and data. “The licenses C-Tap has received, for tests, vaccines and therapeutics, are making a real difference, and show that this innovative mechanism can work,” he said.
“However, the licenses we have received are too few, and only from government research institutes.
“Manufacturers have not contributed to a single licence.
“This highlights why the world needs a more effective mechanism for sharing licenses in an emergency, and why governments that fund so much research must retain licensing rights for products that are needed in emergency situations,” he said.
Ghebreyesus said the WHO was aware that countries were discussing a temporary waiver on intellectual property rights for Covid-19 tools at the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference this week.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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