A couple wearing face masks walks on the towpath by Regent's Canal in east London on Saturday. Tolga Akmen/Reuters
Britain said on Sunday it was pledging £200 million ($248 million) to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and charities to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in vulnerable countries and so help prevent a second wave of infections.
More than 1.6 million people are reported to have been infected by the novel coronavirus globally and deaths have topped 100,000 according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in 210 countries since the first cases were identified in China in December last year and British aid minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said assisting the poorest nations now would help prevent the virus returning to the United Kingdom.
Britain has reported almost 10,000 deaths from the coronavirus so far, the fifth highest national number globally.
"While our brilliant doctors and nurses fight coronavirus at home, we’re deploying British expertise and funding around the world to prevent a second deadly wave reaching the UK," Trevelyan said in a statement.
"Coronavirus does not respect country borders so our ability to protect the British public will only be effective if we strengthen the healthcare systems of vulnerable developing countries too."
The British government said 130 million pounds would go to United Nations' agencies, with 65 million for the WHO. Another 50 million pounds would go to the Red Cross to help war-torn and hard to reach areas, and 20 million pounds going to other organisations and charities.
The cash would help areas with weak health systems such as war-ravaged Yemen, which reported its first case on Friday, and Bangladesh, which is hosting 850,000 Rohingya refugees in crowded camps, it said.
Britain's support for the WHO contrasts with the view of US President Donald Trump who has criticised its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with suggestions his administration might re-evaluate US funding
"The United Kingdom’s generous contribution is a strong statement that this is a global threat that demands a global response," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's Director General said.
"We are all in this together, which means protecting health around the world will help to protect the health of people in the UK."Reuters
The United Kingdom left the bloc at the end of January, but EU law still applies until the end of a post-Brexit transition period, and would normally restrict state subsidies.
Nationwide said its measure of house prices fell by 1.7% last month from April, the biggest decline since February 2009. In annual terms, prices rose by 1.8%, slowing from 3.7% in April.
The United Kingdom has been one of the world's worst-hit areas, with more than 54,000 suspected deaths, though infections have waned and many restrictions are to be lifted across England from Saturday to revive the economy.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is examining a legislation required for the shutdown after it was disclosed that Leicester, a city of around 350,000 people in the East Midlands, has had over 650 COVID-19 cases in the fortnight to June 16, the newspaper reported.
In a tumultuous year marked by economic and social upheavals worldwide as nations battled the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and compounded by tragic disasters such as the Beirut port blasts and several natural calamities including devastating floods in Sudan
The decisions we make Monday will shape the world you will live in tomorrow, said Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE), while addressing the Youth 4 Sustainability (Y4S) Virtual Forum during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2021.
Improving technology and digitalisation have sure contributed to the coping of countries and governments with the one-year-old Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Yet, the most compelling realisation is that health is the key to happiness, dependent on one’s attitude and perspective in life; and for which each and every individual must be responsible for.