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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Vaccine spree by rich hiding global suffering

Experts seek sweeping reforms to prevent next pandemic, outbreaks in Bangkok prisons push Thai cases to new record, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 


Wealthy nations’ vaccine spree obscures global misery

Falling case loads in wealthy nations due to rocket-speed vaccinations may give a false sense of security that everything is fine and may also hide the suffering of millions of people from the pandemic who don't have access to vaccines. Despite declining trends in the developed world, more than 600,000 new Covid cases are being reported globally each day on an average, as epidemics in countries like Colombia, Brazil and Malaysia refuse to die down. Global health officials stress that more international coordination is required to fix the inefficiencies and inequities in vaccination drives. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 160,469,865

Global deaths: 3,331,823

Nations with most cases: US (32,814,943), India (23,703,665), Brazil (15,359,397), France (5,882,882), Turkey (5,072,462).

Source: John Hopkins Research Center

Outbreaks in Bangkok prisons push Thai cases to new record

Thailand recorded the highest single-day increase in cases with new clusters emerging in Bangkok’s prisons, complicating the fight to quell the worst outbreak to hit the nation. Official data showed the country reported 4,887 new cases in the past 24 hours, with nearly 60 per cent of them coming from two jails in the capital. The prison clusters pose fresh challenges to Thai authorities trying to curb the third wave of infections that started from Bangkok’s night entertainment venues and spread to the city’s crowded slums. Read here

Experts call for sweeping reforms to prevent the next pandemic

The next time the world faces an outbreak of a fast-spreading and deadly new pathogen, governments must act swiftly and be ready to restrict travel or mandate masks even before anyone knows the extent of the threat, according to a pair of new reports delivered to the World Health Organization. The studies are intended to address missteps over the past year that led to more than 3.25 million deaths, some $10 trillion in economic losses and more than 100 million people pushed into extreme poverty. Read here

Pfizer warns Australia a Covid vaccine patent waiver could harm supply and safety

Pfizer has warned Australia against joining a growing push to waive the intellectual property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, arguing it could actually harm vaccine supply and invite less safe copycats. Australia has so far resisted calls for the World Trade Organization to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines, which would allow more pharmaceutical companies to manufacture them in a bid to boost supply in developing countries. Earlier in May, the United States reversed its long-held opposition, leaving Australia in the minority as more than 100 countries are backing the move championed by India and South Africa. Read here

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First Published: Thu, May 13 2021. 13:45 IST