President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all world leaders to continue to support an initiative to ensure the availability of appropriate tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, reach all parts of the globe. He was addressing the 74th World Health Assembly.
Ramaphosa says countries must urgently increase vaccine production across the world, including in low and middle-income countries.
“As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we need to build more robust pandemic response systems. We need to give attention to the establishment of the global health council that collaborates with WHO to support mechanism. We 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.”
Weakness in health systems
President Ramaphosa says the coronavirus pandemic has exposed weaknesses in health systems in countries around the world.
Ramaphosa’s address comes as South Africa recorded 2 894 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 1 635 465.
30 more people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications putting, the national death toll at 55 802.
Infographic on latest COVID-19 stats in SA:
Speaking live on the World Health Organisation and Presidency platforms, Ramaphosa has explained what measures South Africa had put in place to strengthen its health system.
“We have had to respond to the fragmentation of our health system, integrating services between the public and private sector and improving co-ordination between different spheres of government. We improved our capacity to do genomic analysis, relied more on scientific evidence to manage the pandemic and improve diagnostics and improve oxygen supply. We need to unpack the global lessons of COVID-19, as we plan for the future.”
Ramaphosa says the pandemic has made countries more aware of their strengths and vulnerabilities.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the 74th World Health Assembly on the COVID-19 pandemic: