WHO urges a reinforcement moratorium until 2022
The World Health Organization on Wednesday called on countries to avoid taking additional Covid hits until the end of the year, pointing to the millions worldwide who have yet to receive a single dose, AFP reports.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters:
I will not be silent when the companies and countries that control the world’s vaccine supply think that the world’s poor should be satisfied with leftovers.
Speaking from WHO headquarters in Geneva, Tedros urged wealthy countries and vaccine makers to prioritize delivering the first blows to health workers and vulnerable populations in poorer nations over boosters.
We don’t want to see a widespread use of boosters for healthy people who are fully vaccinated.
The WHO last month called for a moratorium on booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine until the end of September to address the drastic inequality in the distribution of doses between rich and poor countries.
But Tedros acknowledged Wednesday that “there has been little change in the global situation since then. “So today I ask for an extension of the moratorium until at least the end of the year,” he said.
High-income countries had promised to donate more than 1 billion doses of vaccines to the poorest countries, he said, but less than 15% of those doses have materialized.
We don’t want any more promises. We just want the vaccines.
Washington rejected the call for a moratorium, saying Joe Biden has “a responsibility to do everything possible to protect people in the United States.”
“We are doing both, we believe we can do both, and we will continue to do both,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Japan to expand emergency restrictions
Japan said on Thursday that it will extend Covid emergency restrictions in Tokyo and other regions until the end of this month to curb infections and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, and said it was too early to lower its guard, Reuters reports.
Japan has been struggling with a fifth wave of the virus and last month extended its long-term restrictions until September 12 to cover about 80% of its population.
However, the number of serious cases and the strain on the medical system have not been alleviated enough in Tokyo and the surrounding areas to allow restrictions to be lifted.
The government will extend the measures until September 30, including for Osaka, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said after meeting with an advisory panel, which ratified the plan.
Japan’s emergency brakes have focused on asking restaurants to close early and refrain from serving alcohol.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan said on Thursday it would extend emergency restrictions in Tokyo and other regions until the end of this month to curb infections and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, saying it was too early to lower its guard.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization on Wednesday called on countries to avoid taking additional Covid hits until the end of the year, pointing to the millions around the world who have yet to receive a single dose.
More on these stories shortly. In the meantime, here are the other key recent developments from around the world.
- UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid asked about the possibility of a so-called “October Firewall” in England and said: “I haven’t even thought of that as an option at the moment.”
- Javid also supported that children ages 12-15 can be vaccinated against Covid against their parents’ wishes., and said he was “sure” that a booster jab program will start this month in the UK.
- In the UK, Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi has championed the planned introduction of Covid vaccine passports., telling MPs that “this approach is designed to reduce transmission and serious diseases.”
- Data shows UK road traffic was at 100% pre-crisis levels on Monday. Demand for buses also reached the highest level on a weekday since March 2020.
- The Covax vaccine exchange initiative is scheduled to receive 575 million fewer anti-Covid injections this year. than previously estimated, warned the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi).
- Lothar wieler, the boss of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases in Germany, has said the country could see a “massive boost” in new Covid cases in the fall if the vaccination rate does not increase.
- The Czech Republic registered 588 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest daily count since May 25, as government officials predict a continued rise in infections.
- People will need to show a Covid status certificate to enter bars, restaurants and gyms in Switzerland since Monday, the government ordered
- The city of Brussels is expected to introduce a Covid vaccine pass from October 1, requiring residents to demonstrate their health status to enter bars, restaurants, and other public places.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism