India, South Africa ask WTO to ease IP rules for COVID-19

NEW DELHI (AP) — South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The countries argue that without a rapid waiver of some existing safeguards for intellectual property rights, some countries, particularly developing ones, would find it hard to access vaccines or medicines quickly. Activists have warned that any COVID-19 vaccine could be hoarded by rich countries in a race to inoculate their populations first. Poorer countries are not in a position to place large bets on unproven vaccines.