Success in fighting COVID-19 depends on equal protection of everyone

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Photo taken in Brussels of Belgium on March 16, 2020 shows World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking at a virtual press conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. More cases and deaths of COVID-19 have now been reported in the rest of the world than in China, the chief of the WHO said here on Monday, noting that a rapid escalation of the coronavirus cases has been seen in the past week. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
Photo taken in Brussels of Belgium on March 16, 2020 shows World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking at a virtual press conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. More cases and deaths of COVID-19 have now been reported in the rest of the world than in China, the chief of the WHO said here on Monday, noting that a rapid escalation of the coronavirus cases has been seen in the past week. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that the ultimate measure of success in fighting COVID-19 will not be how fast the tools are developed but how equally they can be distributed.

Speaking at the opening of the European Union (EU) COVID-19 online pledging conference Monday afternoon, the WHO chief said it will be unacceptable that some people in the world are protected while others remain exposed to the virus.

“This is an opportunity not only to defeat a common enemy, but to forge a common future, a future in which all people enjoy the right to the highest attainable standard of health,” he noted.

Ten days ago, the WHO and the European Commission co-hosted the launch of a global collaboration to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and Monday’s pledging event is a follow-up to this effort.

Noting that the world is facing an unprecedented public health crisis, Tedros told the conference that “we are better positioned than any humans in history to confront it.”

The EU and its partners hosted an international pledging conference Monday afternoon, aiming to raise 7.5 billion euros in initial funding to kick-start global cooperation on coronavirus. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars) Endite

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