WHO chief calls for tenfold increase in funding for COVID-19 treatments

A global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines formed earlier this year needs vastly more money, says World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"The coming three months present a crucial window of opportunity to scale out the impact of the ACT [Access to COVID-19 Tools] accelerator for global impact," Dr Tedros said on Monday.

"However to exploit this window, we have to fundamentally scale up the way we are funding the ACT Accelerator and prioritise the use of new tools.

"There is a vast global gap between our ambition for the ACT accelerator, and the amount of funds that have been committed."

Launched at the end of April 2020, the Access to the ACT Accelerator brings together governments, scientists, businesses, civil society, and philanthropists and global health organisations.

Dr Tedros said the WHO was only "10 per cent of the way" to funding the billions of dollars required.

"For the vaccines alone, over $100 billion [$AU140 billion] will be needed," he said.

"This sounds like lot of money and it is.

"But it's small in comparison to the $10 trillion that has already been invested by G20 countries in fiscal stimulus to deal with the consequences of the pandemic so far."

However, he said he saw "green shoots of hope".

"It is never too late to turn the pandemic around," Dr Tedros said.

The message is to "suppress, suppress, suppress".

More than 19.9 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 731,993 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.