South African President Ramaphosa said at a wholly world-health round table on outbreak preparedness and response that developing countries were at risk and hoped rich countries would abandon their intellectual property rights for the new vaccine, according to a notice issued by the South African presidential palace on May 4.
Ramaphosa says the B.1.617 variant of the Coronavirus is currently wreaking havoc in India, where infection rates have risen sharply in recent weeks from Laos to Thailand and countries such as Bhutan and Nepal, which border India.
Outbreaks in Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Cambodia and Fiji are spreading rapidly. South Africa and the African Union want rich countries to give up their intellectual property rights to the new vaccine so that poor countries can have access to technology.
This will make vaccines more accessible and affordable for poor countries, and will eventually lead to a global victory over the Coronavirus.