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Vaccine production urgent to fight Covid-19 pandemic – Ramaphosa

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the world's health systems, requiring those with vaccine production capacity to ramp up…

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the world’s health systems, requiring those with vaccine production capacity to ramp up manufacturing to fight the deadly pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.Speaking when he virtually addressed the 74th World Health Assembly on Tuesday, he called on global leaders to continue to support an initiative to ensure that vaccines and other appropriate tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19 were made available worldwide.

Ramaphosa said the pandemic had made countries more aware of their strengths and vulnerabilities.

This meant that vaccine-making countries must urgently increase production across the world — including in low- and middle-income countries – to end the pandimic, he said.

“As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we need to build more robust pandemic response systems,” the South African leader said.  

He added: “We need to give attention to the establishment of the global health council that collaborates with WHO to support mechanism.”

He said there is “need to invest in our national health systems, understanding that these are vital to the health of our people and the sustainability of our economies.”

Ramaphosa’s intervention came as his country recorded 2,894 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 1,635,465 – with 30 more people succumbing to the disease overnight as the national death toll rose to 55,802 since March 2020. 

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