'Supply nationalism' worsens COVID-19 pandemic: WHO chief

Updated: August 19, 2020 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that "supply nationalism" exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic and only by working together countries will all be benefited from the global supply chain.

"Some countries put in place export restrictions and there were several instances of requisitioning key medical supplies for national use," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a virtual press conference.

He stressed that the fastest way to end the pandemic and reopen economies is to protect "the highest risk populations everywhere, rather than the entire populations of just some countries."

"Every new disease outbreak presents new challenges but from a logistics perspective, COVID-19 has been one of the toughest challenges we've ever faced," he said.

He told reporters that WHO has worked with partners, including the Alibaba Foundation of China, to purchase and deliver hundreds of millions of pieces of protective equipment for health workers.

"Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each countries national interest," he said.

Editor: Ting Liu