The Kingdom Calls on International Community to Take Immediate Measures to Reduce COVID-19 Death Toll
In his speech before the 73rd World Health Assembly, the Health Minister, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah has called on the international community to take immediate measures to reduce COVID-19 death rates and to accelerate efforts to contain its catastrophic impact on humanity. He underlined the importance of international cooperation to eradicate the pandemic.
Al-Rabiah confirmed that, at the national level, the Kingdom has taken essential precautionary measures at the very early stage of the outbreak of the pandemic. Such early actions have a clear effect in delaying the entry of the disease into the Kingdom, which resulted in reducing the effects of the pandemic, as well as the death toll. He highlighted the health system’s capabilities to contain the disease in the health facilities.
The Kingdom has taken effective steps as part of its cooperation with the international community to combat the pandemic, including abiding by the international health regulations and responding to the call of the G20 virtual summit held on March 26. To fill the financial gap, the Kingdom has donated $ 500 million to support the international efforts in preventing the coronavirus spread, he said. The Kingdom will allocate $ 80 million to global emergency response activities, development of health systems and training and to support the early warning systems in response to WHO appeal, Al-Rabiah added.
In regard to the Kingdom's presidency of G20 and in implementation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his Crown Prince, the Kingdom is working closely with the relevant bodies to identify gaps in the global preparedness to combat the spread of communicable diseases in the medium and long term. It aims to create a global initiative to address the gaps and to increase the global preparedness against the spread of the communicable diseases in the medium term.
“There is still a need to improve the basic skills and capabilities needed to develop vaccines and medicines for the emerging diseases and to contribute to reducing the effects of the disease and its social and economic impact”, Al-Rabiah added.