Nations mull new global pandemic treaty

Leaders of 23 countries and the World Health Organization have pledged support for an international treaty to help deal with future health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic.

With the United States and China reacting positively to the proposal.

The president of the European Council, Charles Michel told media on Tuesday (March 30) that future pandemics will require "a global approach" and "a collective commitment at the highest political level."

Better alert systems, data sharing, and research would be the main goals of the treaty -- as well the production and distribution of vaccines, medicines, diagnostics, and personal protective equipment.

The announcement comes on the same day that several Asian countries were left scrambling to find alternative sources for COVID-19 inoculations.

That, after export restrictions by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, India, left the WHO-backed COVAX program short of supplies.

India put a temporary hold on exports of AstraZeneca's vaccine being produced by the Serum Institute, which was due to supply 90 million doses to COVAX over March and April, as officials focus on meeting rising domestic demand.

The move has alarmed many countries, mainly in Africa and Asia.

India's decision is the latest in a series of setbacks for the COVAX facility, relied on by 64 poorer countries, after production glitches and a lack of funding from wealthy nations.