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G20 must act, say former world leaders

Richer countries must be prepared to help those who will struggle to cope with the pandemic

Coronavirus

The Wellcome initiative comes alongside a broader package of proposals that has attracted support from more than 90 former national leaders from around the globe, including former UK Prime Ministers John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, aimed at the G20 group of countries.

They say in a letter published on project-sundicate.org that national interests must be put aside and richer countries must be prepared to help those who will struggle to cope with the pandemic, and propose a global pledging conference, backed by the G20, to commit the resources.

Along with $8bn for drugs, vaccines and diagnostics from governments, they want $35bn for ventilators, test kits and PPE, and $150bn to help low-income countries with limited healthcare capacity manage COVID-19.

The world leaders wrote: ‘If we do nothing as the disease spreads in poorer African, Asian and Latin American cities that have little testing equipment, hardly any ventilators and few medical supplies, and where social distancing and even washing hands are difficult to achieve, Covid-19 will persist there – and re-emerge to hit the rest of the world with further rounds that will prolong the crisis.”

Meanwhile, billionaire Bill Gates has said his charitable foundation is prepared to spend billions of dollars to fund the construction of manufacturing facilities for up to seven promising COVID-19 candidates, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Last month, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard unveiled a $125m drive to identify and develop treatments for COVID-19.

Article by
Phil Taylor

8th April 2020

From: Research

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