War against COVID-19 - GulfToday

War against COVID-19

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres

Yes we are at war with Covid as the UN chief said. The UN chief on Monday declared the world “at war” against the coronavirus, as India’s death toll crossed 300,000 and Japan opened its first mass vaccination centres — just two months before the start of the Olympics (“UN declares war on COVID; India toll crosses 300,000,” Gulf Today, May25).

Through news channels and newspapers we are seeing the bodies along the river Ganges which don’t seem to be recorded as Covid deaths but are very likely to be.

We should support United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as he urges governments to apply wartime logic to stark inequalities in the response to the pandemic, warning the crisis is far from over despite rapidly advancing vaccination rollouts in wealthy parts of the world.

As the UN chief said: “Unless we act now, we face a situation in which rich countries vaccinate the majority of their people and open their economies, while the virus continues to cause deep suffering by circling and mutating in the poorest countries.”

Deadly outbreaks in India, Brazil and elsewhere have pushed the global death toll past 3.4 million, even as rich countries such as the United States, Britain and Israel have eased restrictions.

India has witnessed horrific scenes in recent weeks with severe shortages of oxygen at hospitals and crematoriums overwhelmed, although the number of new daily infections has fallen in big cities.

The United States has administered 286,890,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Monday morning and distributed 357,250,475 doses, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Vaccine sharing, strengthening the WHO and adopting a pandemic treaty were among proposals from world leaders on Monday on how to halt the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future health catastrophes.

The World Health Organisation kicked off the main annual gathering of its 194 member states with all eyes on the global response to Covid-19 – and what concrete steps can be taken to avert future pandemics.

Baqar Najmi
By email

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