The World Health Organization (WHO) contacted the governments of G20 member countries today to ask them to increase the production of medical equipment to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the shortage of protective material for health workers and others. vital products in the current crisis.
"I have spoken today with the trade ministers of the G20 countries to address the chronic lack of personal protective equipment and other essential products," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference.
The WHO calls on those and other countries "to work together with companies to increase production and guarantee the free movement of essential medical products and an equitable distribution of these," said Tedros.
The head of the WHO said that special attention must be given to the supply problems of this type of material in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The Ethiopian doctor stressed that the WHO is also working with its partners to increase access to COVID-19 diagnostic tests, protective equipment (overalls, masks, goggles), oxygen, and assisted breathing devices, among others.
Countries especially hit by the pandemic, such as Spain or Italy, have suffered from problems with the supply of protective material and have a high rate of contagion among their health personnel, while others with significant production, such as France or Germany, have limited their exports, at least temporarily.
Tedros admitted today that the pandemic "is pushing the health systems of many countries to the limit," which threatens not only the lives of those affected by coronavirus, but also the health of other patients and patients.
"Although we are in the midst of a crisis, essential health care must continue, because children continue to be born, vaccination must continue, and people continue to need vital treatments for other diseases," stressed the head of the WHO.