WHO calls for end to ‘disgraceful’ vaccine inequality
The World Health Organization has urged the 20 most powerful world leaders to overturn the “disgraceful” global imbalance in access to Covid-19 vaccines to reverse the tide before October, AFP reports.
The WHO’s Bruce Aylward said the world should be “disgusted” – and asked whether the situation could have been any worse had there been an active effort to block the planet’s poor from getting vaccinated.
The UN health agency has been increasingly infuriated by what it sees as the moral outrage of rich countries hogging vaccine supply while developing nations struggle to immunise their most vulnerable populations.
Aylward, the WHO’s frontman on accessing the tools to fight the coronavirus pandemic, urged people to tell politicians and business tycoons that it was electorally and financially safe to increase vaccine coverage in poorer nations.
South Korea reports record new cases
South Korea reported more than 2,200 new daily Covid cases, a record since the pandemic began last January, health minister Kwon Deok-cheol said on Wednesday, as the country grapples with its most severe coronavirus outbreak.
Despite having distancing measures in place for over a month, infections have spiked due to the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant and a rise in domestic travel over summer, Kwon told a Covid response meeting.
He also noted a rise in so-called “silent spreaders” within communities such as workplaces, indoor gyms, churches and nursing homes, leading to an increase in infections of unknown origin.
South Korea has been struggling since July to tame sporadic outbreaks of Covid that were at first centred largely on metropolitan Seoul but have since spread nationwide.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
South Korea reported more than 2,200 new daily cases, a record since the pandemic began last January, health minister Kwon Deok-cheol said on Wednesday, as the country grapples with its most severe coronavirus outbreak.
The World Health Organization has urged the 20 most powerful world leaders to overturn the “disgraceful” global imbalance in access to Covid-19 vaccines to reverse the tide before October.
- The World Health Organization has urged the 20 most powerful world leaders to overturn the “disgraceful” global imbalance in access to Covid-19 vaccines in order to reverse the tide before October.
- The UK health secretary, Sajid Javid, said preparations are being made to offer Covid booster jabs in the UK from next month, but a leading expert suggested that such a move would not be supported by the science and that it was likely to be unnecessary.
- Reaching herd immunity is “not a possibility” with the current Delta variant, Pollard told MPs, since the vaccines do not stop the spread of Covid. Therefore reaching the threshold for overall immunity in the population is “mythical”, although the existing vaccines are very effective at preventing serious Covid illness and death, he said.
- Germany’s leaders are expected to set out new coronavirus regulations for the coming months, including abolishing free testing to incentivise people to get vaccinated. The unvaccinated will be expected to undergo tests which they must pay for themselves as a condition for attending all manner of events, from indoor gatherings to restaurant visits to church services.
- Thailand’s government backed down from widely criticised regulations that would enable it to prosecute people for distributing “news that may cause public fear”.
- Also in the south-east Asian country today, police fired teargas and rubber bullets at protesters calling for the government to resign over its handing of the pandemic. Lines of police, backed by trucks spraying jets from water cannons, fired teargas and rubber bullets at scores of demonstrators in Bangkok, as they threw rocks and fireworks and set fire to a traffic police booth.
- Myanmar’s army has carried out at least 252 attacks and threats against health workers since the February coup, killing at least 25 medics and hampering the response to a resurgent outbreak of Covid-19, rights groups have said.
- Donald Trump was “afraid” when he put on a display of bravado at the White House after being treated for a severe coronavirus infection, his estranged niece Mary Trump has claimed.