KAMPALA – Uganda and other nations across the globe will have to wait for at least 18months before vaccine for the Coronavirus is confirmed for use, according to World Health Organisation (WHO).
The development was revealed by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO during a press briefing in Geneva Switzerland that was broadcast live on the Organisation’s social media pages.
Adhanom noted, “A vaccine is still at least 18 months away. In the meantime, we recognize that there is an urgent need for therapeutics to treat patients & save lives.”
The Global body’s boss also announced that Spain is among the nations whose first patients will shortly be enrolled in the Solidarity Trial, which will compare the safety & effectiveness of four different drugs or drug combinations against COVID19, descring the development as historic because it will dramatically cut the time needed to generate robust evidence about what medicine work.
Tedros said that over 45 countries are contributing to the trial & more have expressed interest and defended delay in confirming the drug stating that the history of medicine is strewn with examples of drugs that worked on paper, or in a test tube, but didn’t work in humans or were actually harmful.
He cited the most recent Ebola epidemic, where some medicines that were thought to be effective were found not to be as effective as other medicines when they were compared during a clinical trial, “We must follow the evidence. There are no shortcuts.”
World Health Organisation also revealed that its officials held a briefing with around 50 Ministers of Health from around the world at which China, Japan, South Korea shared their experiences and the lessons they have learned, with these nations emphasising need for early detection & isolation of confirmed cases, identification, follow-up & quarantine of contacts, the need to communicate to build trust and engage communities in the fight.
In the same meeting, Countries also expressed several common challenges including the chronic global shortage of personal protective equipment, a challenge WHO cited as one of the most urgent threats to its collective ability to save lives.
WHO also revealed that it had shipped almost 2M individual items of protective gear to 74 countries that need it most and is preparing to send a similar amount to a further 60 countries, although the demand for these items is high and can only be solved with international cooperation and solidarity.
WHO has also called on all countries to conduct aggressive case-finding and testing, and that plans are underway to urgently to massively increase the production and capacity for testing around the world.
Following the outbreak, WHO also reported that the COVID19 Solidarity Fund has now received donations of more than USD108M, from 203,000 individuals & organizations, and Tedros called on the world to stay calm, stay united and work together.
The latest figures show that the cases of Coronavirus worldwide stand at 597,000, while recorded deaths are 27,364 and Recoveries are 133,363.