Late on Friday, political and health leaders from across the world, including representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, committed to ensuring vaccines, treatments and tests for Covid-19 will be available to all equally.

The unprecedented partnership, which is led by the World Health Organisation (WHO),  the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to learn from the lessons of the HIV epidemic to ensure all tools to fight infectious disease outbreaks are available to everyone in an accountable manner.

Director-general of the WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented: “We will only halt COVID-19 through solidarity.

“Countries, health partners, manufacturers, and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everybody.”

The political partners who committed to this access guarantee include the French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the UK’s First Secretary of State Dominic Raab.

While the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (IFPMA), the Wellcome Trust, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI-the Vaccine Alliance are some of the healthcare partners.

IFPMA director-general Thomas Cueni added: “Today, scientists in the public and private sector hold the keys to our common goal: the swift end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are proud to be part of this landmark global partnership and are fully committed to its goal to accelerate development, production and equitable global access to safe, quality, effective, and affordable COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines.

“In the fight against COVID-19, we must ensure that no one is left behind. We will only succeed in this journey together.”