'Vast global gap' in funds to fight coronavirus, WHO says

'Vast global gap' in funds to fight coronavirus, WHO says

FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom speaks during a news conference in Geneva
FILE PHOTO: Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

GENEVA: There is a "vast global gap" between funds needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic and funds committed, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday (Aug 10), and the WHO was only "10 per cent of the way" there.

More than 19.92 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 729,883 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

"The coming three months present a crucial window of opportunity to scale out the impact of the ACT accelerator for global impact," Tedros told a briefing in Geneva, referring to the "Access to COVID-19 Tools".

"However to exploit this window, we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are funding the ACT Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools. There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT accelerator, and the amount of funds that have been committed."

He said the WHO was only "10 per cent of the way" to funding the billions of dollars required.

"For the vaccines alone, over US$100 billion will be needed," Tedros said.

However he said he saw "green shoots of hope".

"It is never too late to turn the pandemic around," Tedros said. The message is to "suppress, suppress, suppress".

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Source: Reuters/aa

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