President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for global solidarity to fight the coronavirus crisis.  Ramaphosa was addressing the 73rd Session of the World Health Assembly, which is the key decision-making body of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The virtual session was being attended by representatives of the United Nation’s 194 member states.

Ramaphosa says the coronavirus outbreak is a clear call for the urgent implementation of universal healthcare.

“We must ensure that there is equitable access to medical equipment, technologies. In this final decade towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals, we must press ahead with our goal of making universal health care a reality for all the people of the world. The virus has demonstrated the essential value of universal health coverage and this is where we need full solidarity,” says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa has affirmed Africa’s full support for the World Health Organisation (WHO), which he said had been key in guiding the international response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ramaphosa is the chairperson of the African Union (AU) for 2020.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says millions of people have put themselves in harm’s way in fighting this pandemic.

“From nurses, doctors and midwives to technicians and administrators, millions of healthcare workers are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us. We owe them our deepest appreciation and solidarity.”