Africa still needs COVID-19 testing, laboratories, PPEs and ventilators, Ramaphosa tells OACPS summit

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C., USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. Become one of our members and help us keep our quality news free and available for all.

Africa is still in need of COVID-19 testing equipment and facilities, laboratories, personal protective equipment and ventilators, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told leaders at a virtual summit of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) on Wednesday.

“We have urgent needs as a continent with regard to medical supplies, testing equipment and facilities, laboratories, personal protection equipment and ventilators.

“At the same time, our experience in managing public health emergencies has served us well, and enabled the rapid deployment of trained and experienced community health workers to do screening and testing,” Mr. Ramaphosa told the summit.

Read his full remarks below as sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C. by the presidency in South Africa.

Your Excellency, President Uhuru Kenyatta,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
Secretary-General of the OACPS, His Excellency Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti,
Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
Colleagues and Friends,

I wish to express my appreciation to President Kenyatta for convening this important Summit on an issue that deeply affects each and every one of us.

The coronavirus pandemic has clearly demonstrated that the nations of the world are profoundly interconnected and interdependent.

As an organization that brings together countries from different parts of the globe, the OACPS has an important role in promoting cooperation and solidarity.

As the countries of Africa, we have acted decisively and in unison to respond to the threat of COVID-19.

Although the number of infections in Africa is currently lower than elsewhere in the world, there is an expectation that the worst is still to come, with dire social and economic consequences.

The outbreak of the virus has caused a great deal of damage to economies on the continent and is beginning to stretch public health systems.

We have urgent needs as a continent with regard to medical supplies, testing equipment and facilities, laboratories, personal protection equipment and ventilators.

At the same time, our experience in managing public health emergencies has served us well, and enabled the rapid deployment of trained and experienced community health workers to do screening and testing.

The African Union has developed a strategy to address the challenge of COVID 19. 

Through the five regional coronavirus task forces we have established in all the 5 regions of the continent, we are working across national borders to oversee screening, detection and diagnosis; infection control and clinical management of infected persons; and to drive mass communication and community engagement. 

As part of our strategy we have established an African COVID-19 Response Fund as a key intervention to mobilise and direct resources towards the continent’s response to the challenge. 

COVID 19 is a global pandemic and requires cooperation and solidarity amongst the nations and the peoples of the world.  The AU has been in the forefront of mobilising international support for both a health response to the pandemic and a comprehensive economic stimulus package for Africa.  

As part of the economic stimulus we have called for debt relief for countries that are indebted. 

We call on the OACPS to support the AU’s call for a two-year debt standstill and a plan for the restructuring of both private and bilateral debt. 

We further support the appeal to the International Monetary Fund for special drawing rights allocations to provide additional liquidity to countries in need.

The World Health Organization has been instrumental in supporting national efforts to combat COVID-19.  As African countries, we continue to reiterate our full support for the WHO and its Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

We fully support the initiative by the WHO together with many governments, non-profit organisations and industry leaders to speed up the development and production of vaccines and therapeutics, and to ensure that they are distributed speedily and equitably across the globe.

We believe that no country must be left behind.  In this regard, we call for economic sanctions against Sudan and Zimbabwe to be lifted to provide the necessary space for these countries to devote their resources to the fight against COVID-19.

This is a global public health emergency and it needs a global response.  We therefore need to promote multilateralism as the most effective instrument to ensure that all countries, big and small, rich and poor, are accommodated and their voices heard.

Through a decisive, effective and collective response to this global crisis, we will not only be safeguarding the lives, health and well-being of our people, but we will also be proving the relevance and value of bodies like the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

Global solidarity demands that we also stand as one against all forms of racism and intolerance.

Through the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, the African Union has strongly condemned the murder of George Floyd in the United States of America and shares the anger of millions in the United States and across the world.

As countries that have borne the brunt of racial discrimination over centuries, we need to work together to end the scourge of racial violence, wherever it occurs.  By working together, we can build a peaceful, just, healthy and prosperous global community.

I thank you.

Read full article

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: [email protected]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

MOST POPULAR

U.S. coronavirus infections break record, hit nearly 46,000 in a single day

The United States recorded nearly 46,000 new coronavirus infections on Friday, the highest number in a single day since the pandemic...

SEE IT: Certified true copy of the conviction of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in the United States for $25,000 theft

The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila was convicted in the state of Georgia in the United States...

UPDATED: Wife of dead Nigerian Senator Bayo Osinowo recovering from COVID-19 as son beats the disease

Alhaja Mariam Osinowo, the wife of Senator Bayo Osinowo who passed away on Monday, is recovering from the novel coronavirus, family...

Followers of popular African prophet TB Joshua claim COVID-19 and global economic devastation confirm his prophecy on humility

The outbreak of COVID-19 has "brought this nation to its knees," Dr Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease...

A coronavirus vaccine from Africa by Africans and for Africans is being discussed at the African Union

A coronavirus vaccine from Africa, by Africans and for Africans and the world is being discussed at the African Union. On...
- Advertisement -

LATEST STORIES

Daily coronavirus infections in U.S. surpass 50,000 for first time

New reported coronavirus infections in the United States surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday for the first time, with California reporting record 9,740 new...

African Development Bank names former President of Ireland and two legal experts to lead independent investigation into allegations of corruption against Akinwumi Adesina

The African Development Bank has named a former President of Ireland, a former attorney general in The Gambia and a Washington...

António Guterres warns the world is in turmoil

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres warned in an opinion piece on Wednesday that the world was in turmoil.

COVID-19 infections top 400k in Africa as death toll surpasses 10k and WHO warns pandemic accelerating dangerously

The number of people who have contracted COVID-19 in Africa surpassed 400,000 on Wednesday, as death toll exceeded 10,000, data from...

Human Rights Watch calls on new President Lazarus Chakwera to reset Malawi’s human rights record

Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera, should use his electoral victory as an opportunity to reset the country’s human rights record, Human...

[/read_more]

Read full article

error: Alert: Content is protected !!
Share
Tweet
Share
Pin
WhatsApp