WHO slams 'racist' calls for Africa to be vaccine testing ground

WHO slams 'racist' calls for Africa to be vaccine testing ground

The World Health Organization chief angrily slammed recent comments made by scientists suggesting a vaccine for the new coronavirus should be tested in Africa as "racist" and a hangover from the "colonial mentality".

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

"Africa cannot and will not be a testing ground for any vaccine," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference, insisting "we will follow all the rules to test any vaccine or therapeutics all over the world... whether it is in Europe, Africa or wherever."

READ: Coronavirus threatens nearly 20 million African jobs: study

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Masks not miracle solution -

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that wearing masks alone will not be enough alone to defeat the pandemic.

Its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also slams suggestions that Africa should be used as a testing ground for a vaccine as racist.

- Europe faces 'biggest test' -

European leaders are facing the "biggest test" to their union in the pandemic since the EU's founding, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says, a day ahead of a key eurozone finance ministers' conference to agree an economic rescue plan for the bloc.

The message comes as France warns that it faces its deepest recession since World War II,

- Japan: state of emergency -

The Japanese government plans to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday as new coronavirus infections spike in areas such as Tokyo and Osaka. It also proposes a massive stimulus package worth $1 trillion (915 billion euros).

- Norway: outbreak 'under control' -

Norway says it considers the coronavirus to be "under control" in the country, with the number of new people infected by each patient having fallen to an average of 0.7, down from 2.5 when semi-containment measures were introduced in mid-March. 

- Argentina defers debt payment -

Argentina defers payments of up to $9.8 billion of its debt to 2021, in response to the coronavirus crisis.

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