President Cyril Ramaphosa may have been preoccupied with the finer points of what happens during Level 3 of lockdown in his Sunday night speech, but his largely positive message on the fight against coronavirus might have flown under the radar. South Africa’s head of state revealed that the country is marching forward in its bid to secure a vaccine to treat this heinous disease.
Ramaphosa told the nation that there are plans in place to ‘locally manufacture’ treatments that can prevent coronavirus, and our top scientists are hoping to secure enough candidates to complete their trials:
“Until there is a vaccine available to all, the coronavirus will continue to spread. There’s a massive global effort to develop a vaccine, of which South Africa is part. Government is supporting and funding several research projects, including a plan to locally manufacture coronavirus vaccines when candidates are available.”
“We must get used to living with the coronavirus for some time to come. We’ll use the skills, expertise, and infrastructure within the industry to produce and distribute a vaccine. We argue that should a vaccine be developed anywhere in the world it must be made freely and equitably available to citizens of all countries.”
Ramaphosa delivered the same message on Monday morning, during his weekly newsletter. According to the president, progress is being made all across the continent.
Just under half of all nations in Africa have registered for clinical trials to try and stamp-out coronavirus for good. Vaccines and anti-retrovirals get the go-ahead, and products championed in the USA – such as hydroxychloroquine and Remdesivir – will also be tested on willing participants:
“African nations have also joined the race to produce test kits, with Senegal in an advanced stage of developing a low-cost testing kit. At least 25 African countries have registered clinical trials for possible COVID-19 treatments, including for the BCG vaccine, hydroxychloroquine, antiretrovirals and Remdesivir. This forms part of the global Solidarity clinical trials: Whether it’s repurposing health protocols used with other infectious disease outbreaks, rapidly deploying health care workers to communities, or launching mobile COVID-19 testing labs to improve testing capacities, Africa is working actively to overcome a global threat.” He further added.