President Alberto Fernández on Saturday asked his fellow G20 member nations for their "cooperation and solidarity" in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that Argentina had made "a solid commitment" in the fight against Covid-19.
"Cooperation and solidarity are two key elements to fight the pandemic," Fernández said in a videoconference address to the G20 Leaders Summit, which this year is being held in Saudi Arabia but only virtually, given the challenges of the global pandemic.
"There is a great opportunity to change the way this world works,” he said, calling on global leaders to support struggling nations.
"Argentina also maintains a solid commitment to any regional or global initiative aimed at facilitating universal and equitable access to medicines, treatments and vaccines, guaranteeing access to these global public goods," added Fernández.
He went on to call for the creation of a “global humanitarian emergency fund” to aid the development of vaccines and rebuild the world’s economy.
The two-day meeting that brings together the richest countries in the world (19, with the addition of the European Union) took place over the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the agenda was dominated by efforts to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus and its devastating economic consequences. Much attention was also paid to debt, especially the potential of offering relief to countries struggling to balance their economies in the wake of the pandemic.
Fernández, who joined remotely from the presidential retreat in Chapadmalal, also provided information about Argentina’s role in hosting Phase III of clinical trials of three possible vaccines. He assured that "we will also produce the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford [and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca] that will be distributed equitably,150 to 250 million doses to Latin American countries."
The Peronist leader also Latin America was at high risk of a “second wave,” highlighting the uptick of confirmed cases and deaths across Europe.
"We are watching what happens in Europe very carefully. We warn that the risk of the second wave also exists in Latin America – that it is very possible that what is happening in Europe will happen, [and] that it will happen with the arrival of Autumn,” he said, underlining the importance of a swift roll-out of a vaccine when it is finally approved by the relevant health authorities.
To date, Argentina has recorded more than 1.3 million infections of Covid-19, with more than 36,000 deaths since March.