TRIPS waiver will allow developing nations speedy access to COVID-19 vaccines, says South African President

ANI
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President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo/Credit: Twitter/@CyrilRamaphosa)
President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa (Photo/Credit: Twitter/@CyrilRamaphosa)

Pretoria [South Africa] May 1, (ANI): President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday said South Africa and India have made a "strong call" for a temporary TRIPS waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as it will allow developing nations more speedy and equitable access to the vaccines.

Taking to Twitter, the South African President said: "South Africa and India have made a strong call, which is supported by more than a hundred countries, for a temporary #TRIPSwaiver of vaccine patents at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This will allow developing nations more speedy and equitable access to the vaccine."

India along with South Africa is at the forefront in a proposal introduced in October 2020, before the WTO in the TRIPS council, for a waiver during COVID-19 to allow more countries to get equitable access to medicines.

Earlier, 57 members of the WTO supported India's proposal for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver on COVID-19 vaccines.

The issue has galvanised advocacy groups as a question of equity. The waiver, which would apply to a swath of obligations under the WTO Agreement on TRIPS, is set to be discussed at the General Council meeting next week.

The push comes as poorer countries are trailing significantly behind richer countries in administering vaccines. According to the United Nations last week, 130 countries have not received a single dose of any COVID-19 vaccines, reported Inside US Trade. (ANI)