Thirty nations, multiple international agencies, and partners have joined hands with WHO for a unified battle with COVID-19, under the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), WHO announces.
Via the C-TAP, the collaborating countries envision to erect a world-class technology access poll to develop vaccines, conduct tests, and other healthcare technologies needed to battle the novel coronavirus that broke out in Wuhan last year. The initiative was reportedly brewing since March under Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado. On 29th May, it was finally launched with the World Health Organization.
Reuters noted that this step is a collaborative approach by WHO and the partner nations to ensure healthcare technology is accessible to all, especially for COVID-19, as they fear worst-case scenarios where patents are barring the crucial supplies in need during a pandemic.
For the greater benefit
“Vaccines, tests, diagnostics, treatments, and other key tools in the coronavirus response must be made universally available as global public goods”, Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado said. “Based on strong science and open collaboration, this information-sharing platform will help provide equitable access to life-saving technologies around the world,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told while officially launching the initiative.
Through the COVID-19 (Technology) Access Pool aims to make a “one-stop-shop” for scientific research, vaccine, medicine development, and other diagnostics for faster outcomes. COVID-19 pandemic case so far upended 360k lives and infections are racing to touch 6 million globally.
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As of now, the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool is now supported by the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Honduras, Indonesia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, The Netherlands, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Zimbabwe.
The participant nations and partners with WHO has also issued a “Solidarity Call to Action,” asking stakeholders to join the volunteering effort to fight COVID-19.
The call for an open-source initiative invited criticisms from international medical bodies who are raising concerns for undermining intellectual properties. “WHO recognizes the important role that patents play in fuelling innovation but this is a time when people must take priority,” WHO Director-General told in an online news briefing.
As of now more than 100 coronavirus vaccines are in development, mostly by rich nations.