- Bill Gates is offering to help African countries get mass-based testing kits for the coronavirus
- He praised President Cyril Ramaphosa for his efforts in slowing the spread of the virus
- Testing has begun on a vaccine in Australia and scientists are working at a frantic pace
The billionaire and founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has offered to help African countries access mass-based testing kits for Covid-19.
Gates has been in contact with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Africa's response to the virus which has infected over a million people across the planet, with 65 000 reported deaths.
Briefly.co.za learned that Africa has reported 8000 cases and 339 deaths in 50 countries. Many African countries have implemented lockdowns and closed their borders to slow the spread of the virus.
South Africa has the highest number of confirmed cases on the continent with 1585.
Gates praised Ramaphosa when he was interviewed by Trevor Noah.
“In developing countries its far harder and so you know there will be these measures actually stop it from getting to a large part of the population places like India, Nigeria. You know I was talking to President Ramaphosa, who’s not only President of South Africa but as the head of the African Union and he’s a very strong voice encouraging the countries there to act quickly when the number of cases is still fairly low.”
Australia has started its first phase of testing for a potential vaccine for Covid-19. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has begun pre-clinical testing with 2 vaccines on ferrets according to SABC.
CSIRO’s director of health Rob Grenfell told Reuters that the timeframe is predicted to be 18 months before a vaccine is released.
“We’re still sticking to the optimistic 18-months for delivery of vaccine to the general consumers,” Grenfell said from Melbourne in an interview over Skype. “Now this, of course, may change. There’s a lot of technical challenges that we’re having to go through.”
The testing phase would take 3 months, Grenfell praised the scientists for the efforts and the remarkable speed at which the research is taking place. Normally, the minimum time required for a vaccine pre-clinical test takes 2 years.
“So, this is the speed that’s going on at the moment.”
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane has made a complete recovery and had a special message to share with South Africa.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIlEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!