Saudi Arabia is ‘uniquely equipped and ready’ to become the regional hub for the production of coronavirus vaccines, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) supervisor general Abdullah al – Rabeeah said on Wednesday.
‘Saudi Arabia strongly encourages regionalization of pertinent industries – particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia’, SPA quoted al – Rabeeah as saying.
Rgional production of vaccines and medical supplies would boost supplies and create job opportunities, according to the supervisor general. It would also increase healthcare systems’ ability to control distribution and delivery, he added.
‘Regional production of COVID – 19 vaccines and other medicines and supplies would not only provide more vaccine availability, but would also create job opportunities and boost the ability of regional health care systems to control their own vaccine distribution and delivery’, al – Rabeeah said.
The Kingdom could also provide supplies, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospital staff and the general public, ventilators, medical gases, and other medicines, he added.
Inequities in vaccine supplies and medical equipment have prevented dozens of countries around world from controling the outbreak of the coronavirus, according to al – Rabeeah.
‘Increasing the access of all countries to vaccines is key to achieving global control over COVID-19…learning from the lessons (of COVID-19) is essential (when planning to address) future outbreaks’, he said.
‘The toll this global health emergency has taken on economies, health systems, education, governance and social structure has been devastating, particulary for the most vulnerable groups, such as children, women, the elderly, and those suffering from hunger, conflicts and natural disasters’, he added.
The kingdom has provided support for refugee communities worlwide, including extensive pandemic assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, and a number of other refugee groups with concentrations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, he added.
Al – Rabeeah also called for the vital need ‘for all countries to contribute financially to global soultions for global pandemics, because no country is immune to the threat of future diseases such as COVID-19’.