24 April 2020

• WHO announces the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), a global collaboration of organizations and governments to speed up development, production and equitable access to new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19; it asks for political and financial support. The public-private partnership initially includes BMGF, CEPI, the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (Gavi), GFATM, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, the International Generics and Biosimilar Medicines Association, Unitaid, Wellcome Trust and WHO. Source

The ACT-A includes four pillars: Diagnostics, co-led by FIND and the Global Fund, which aims to market up to three high-quality rapid tests, train 10,000 healthcare workers across 50 countries and establish testing for 500,000 people in LMIC; Therapeutics, which is co-led by Unitaid and the Wellcome Trust and aims to develop, manufacture, procure and equitably distribute 245 million treatment courses to people in LMIC within 12 months; the Vaccines pillar, which is co-led by Gavi and CEPI, aims to deliver 2 billion doses (assuming there is a safe and effective vaccine available) by the end of 2021 as well as oversee procurement of 950 million doses by upper-middle and high- income countries through the COVAX facility; the fourth pillar, Health Systems Connector, which is co-led by the (GFATM) and the World Bank and supported by WHO, aims to support the other pillars by building laboratory capacity, provide healthcare workforce training and manage PPE to facilitate roll-out of new tools as they become available and develop innovative systems for contact tracing, social distancing and isolation with the community engagement required to sustain them. Source
• The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues a Drug Safety Communication, warning that cardiac arrythmias are associated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, recommending against their use outside of clinical trials. Source

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