China pledges $2 billion to help fight Covid-19 pandemic
Several Chinese companies are working on development and testing of potential Covid-19 vaccines.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that his country would provide $2 billion over the next two years to support Covid-19 response efforts, particularly in developing countries. He stated this today during a speech to the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The 73rd World Health Assembly is taking place virtually between Monday and Tuesday. Speaking via video conferencing to the meeting of 194 members of the United Nations’ health agency, the Chinese President also emphasised that China would support Africa's efforts to prevent and control the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected over 86,000 people and caused close to 3,000 deaths on the continent.
Globally, the Covid-19 has killed 317,240 people as of 15:00 GMT on Monday and infected a total of 4,833,688 people in 213 countries and territories, according to Worldometer. The disease was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
“Covid-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good, which will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries,” Jinping said.
Several Chinese companies are working on development and testing of potential Covid-19 vaccines. China reportedly has five vaccine projects already in human trials.
Ahead of the meeting today, the European Union and other countries have been calling for a review of the origins of the coronavirus and an independent evaluation of WHO's initial response to the pandemic. China has continued to push back against such calls. Responding to the concerns of countries who support the review, Jinping insisted on Monday that China has been open and transparent in providing information to WHO and other countries.
“China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to Covid-19 after it is brought under control, to sum up our experience and address deficiencies,” the Chinese President said, adding that “This work should be led by science and professionalism, led by the WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.”
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