Saudi Arabia called on the international community on Monday to take “bold” and “immediate” steps to eliminate the coronavirus.
Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah urged the need to speed up efforts to contain the disastrous impact of the pandemic; underlining the importance of cooperation to eliminate the outbreak.
Addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly; he said Saudi Arabia had taken national decisions during the early stages of the crisis.
These preventive steps helped to delay the spread of the virus to the Kingdom. This is in turn helped ease its impact, he added, citing the country’s low death toll and strong health sector.
Moreover, he said Saudi Arabia had taken effective steps in cooperating with the international community to fight the pandemic. They included respecting international health guidelines and responding to the G20 plea for aid.
Saudi Arabia has dedicated 500 million dollars to the international fight against the outbreak, remarked the minister.
Furthermore, as president of the G20 for 2020, the Kingdom; and at the orders of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman; is working closely with concerned parties to plug gaps in global preparations. This is to confront contagious diseases on the medium and long terms, said Rabiah.
He also noted that essential skills to develop vaccines and drugs for emerging diseases still needs testing; stressing it was “very important” to make them available to everyone as soon as developing them.
Rabiah underscored the need to invest in response systems so that the world would be better prepared to handle future global crises and ultimately, save lives.