South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday urged richer countries to stop hoarding excess coronavirus vaccines they had ordered but do not need immediately, reported Reuters.

“The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines,” he said, while speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum. “Some countries even acquired up to four times what their population needs.”

Ramaphosa, who currently chairs the African Union, asked the countries who have hoarded vaccines, to release them for other nations, including those in Africa. “We are all not safe if some countries are vaccinating their people and other countries are not vaccinating,” Ramaphosa said. “We all must act together in combating the coronavirus.”

South Africa has been hit the hardest by the pandemic among African countries, with over 14.17 lakh cases and 41,117 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. Last month, the country had also reported a mutant strain of the virus.

Will gradually supply vaccines to WHO’s COVAX facility: India

Meanwhile, India has informed the UN Security Council that it will gradually supply vaccines to the COVAX facility of the World Health Organisation and undertake contractual supplies to various countries in a phased manner, PTI reported on Tuesday. Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access or COVAX facility is a global effort, led by the WHO, to develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines across the world.

Last week, COVAX had announced that, pending WHO emergency use listings, nearly 15 crore doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine were expected to be available in the first quarter of this year, through existing agreements with the Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca, according to PTI.

Speaking at a UN Security Council’s briefing, India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu on Monday said that the country had already airlifted more than six million doses of vaccines to nine countries.