The World Health Organization has announced an initiative to accelerate the development of drugs and vaccines for the new coronavirus, and ensure access worldwide. Global leaders expressed their full support.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke during a video conference in Geneva on Friday. He was joined by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, among others.
According to NHK, treatments and vaccines for the virus are being developed around the world, with some already in clinical trials.
Referring to the H1N1 flu pandemic, Tedros said, "Experience has told us that even when tools are available they have not been equally available to all." He added, "We cannot allow that to happen."
He also said, "Our shared commitment is to ensure all people have access to all the tools to prevent, detect, treat and defeat COVID-19."
The United States did not attend the conference. President Donald Trump recently announced his administration is temporarily halting funding to the WHO.