German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, together with heads of state from four other countries, called for a “truly global alliance” to fight the coronavirus pandemic in a letter published in the British daily Finanial Times on Wednesday.
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“There cannot be victory over the virus in one, or some, countries alone. We all have something to contribute regardless of the size of our economies or populations. A global solution is in everybody’s self-interest,” wrote Steinmeier, along with King Abdullah II of Jordan and presidents Halimah Yacob of Singapore, Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia and Lenin Moreno Garces of Ecuador.
“Enhanced co-operation and solidarity” rather than “geopolitical turf battles” and pooling scientific research are “the most convincing way” to fight the pandemic, Steinmeier added.
The number of infections worldwide from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has climbed to over 860,000, with over 42,000 deaths. Key equipment needed to fight the disease, such as face masks, disinfectant, and ventilators, are in short supply across world markets. Many countries, including those with highly developed healthcare systems such as Italy, have been overwhelmed by the pandemic.
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What would a global coronavirus alliance look like?
The heads of state said a future alliance should focus on four key objectives, including the development of vaccines. Once developed, these should also be used to protect everyone, including vulnerable groups such as refugees.
The future alliance would also ensure “fair and equitable distribution of testing kits and critical medical equipment for all.”
The alliance would also “articulate the immense benefits of a co-ordinated, co-operative global response to the crisis.”
kmm/ cmb (dpa, kna, Reuters)