May 4, 2020 / 1:34 PM / a month ago

U.N. calls for COVID vaccine, treatment available for all

FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - United Nations leaders called on Monday for a global effort to develop and distribute to all at affordable prices vaccines, treatments and testing kits against COVID-19.

“These new tools will help us to fully control the pandemic and must be treated as global public goods available and affordable for all,” the U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres said at the start of a global pledging conference which aims to raise at least 8 billion dollars for the fight against the coronavirus.

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the same event: “The ultimate measure of success will not be how fast we can develop tools. It will be how equally we can distribute them. None of us can accept a world in which some people are protected while others remain exposed.”

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; editing by Robin Emmott

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