What a shame! - GulfToday

What a shame!


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

In the long history of mankind, leaders have never had the opportunity, to make a difference to their people, as of now. The very lives of people depend on the quality of decisions that leaders make in these dark times. Overall, most countries have let the virus wander around, with harnessing it. The virus has attacked countries in waves, each time with renewed ferocity.

What a mess the world has made of the vaccination programme too. Against the target of 20 million vaccinations to be completed in 2020 in the US, the actual number vaccinated was just 5.46 million. Western countries which have the vaccines have not rolled them out expeditiously, due to issues in logistics, communications and coordination. Countries in Africa and Asia which need the vaccines do not have the moneys to buy them. They are waiting for cheaper vaccines. Quite simply, there are not enough vaccines to go around.

Developing countries are taking days and weeks to approve the vaccines. When a vaccine like Pfizer or Moderna or Oxford has been blessed by the WHO, US and UK, how much time do developing countries need to approve them?  They are debating them for days. A meeting convened to clear an established vaccine, should not adjourn, without reaching a decision, even if the meeting lasts for 24 to 36 hours at a stretch. Nobody should go home. Provide beds, toiletries, foods in the meeting rooms. But, clear the agenda. No postponements. We cannot be cavalier.

Various leaders have their own agendas. On the day Donald Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol building, 3,865 Americans died due to COVID- 19. Next day’s toll: 4,000. The eyes of the world were on the invasion of the Capitol, not on the people dying, as they waited for hospital rooms.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India

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