Indonesia calls for equal access to COVID-19 medicine hinh anh 1Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) Indonesian President Joko Widodo on May 4 called for "equal access" for developing countries to medicine and vaccine to treat the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

"We need to fight for just and timely access to affordable COVID-19 medicine and vaccine," Widodo told a virtual summit on COVID-19 held by 39 heads of states that are part of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

"Debt relief and debt repayment obligations from official creditors (for developing countries) need be rediverted into financing the handling of COVID-19," he said.

Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a video conference on May 5 that the NAM countries would form a task force to compile crucial "medical and humanitarian" needs for member states that would then be conveyed to donor countries and organisations.

As of May 5 morning, the COVID-19 had killed 864 people and infected 11,587 in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government sets to increase qualified COVID-19 testing centres to 78 by the end of May, which allows the country to perform 30,000 tests daily.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president Vince Dizon said the Philippines decided to invest in ramping up the testing capacity because it knows that a vaccine is not coming soon.

Now, 20 laboratory-testing centres are operating in the Philippines.

The country has failed to reach its target to conduct 8,000 tests per day as of April 30. By May 3, it was only capable of performing 5,264 tests daily.

By May 4, the Philippines had confirmed 9,485 coronavirus cases, including 623 deaths and 1,315 recoveries./.
VNA