United Nations: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged the wealthy developed nations to donate vaccines to poorer nations instead of inoculating children and adolescents against the Covid-19.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted that vaccine supply in lower and lower-middle-income countries has been insufficient to vaccinate even health care workers and called the move of rich countries a ‘moral catastrophe’. He urged the nations to donate vaccines to COVAX, adding that, only 0.3% of the vaccine supply was being delivered to low-income countries.
WHO chief also talked about the concerning Covid-19 situation in India, with several states continuing to see a rising number in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. He said that the pandemic’s impact in its second year will be ‘far more deadly’ than the first one.
Ghebreyesus added that responding to the COVID-19 surge in India, WHO has shipped thousands of oxygen concentrators, masks, tents for mobile field hospitals, and other medical supplies necessary to fight the pandemic.
At the daily media briefing, the WHO director-general also thanked all the stakeholders who came out in support of India.
He also pointed out that apart from India, there are nations too that are facing emergency-like situations. ‘Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, and Egypt are some other countries dealing with spikes in cases ‘, he said. Even some countries in America still have a high number of cases and accounted for 40 percent of deaths due to Covid-19 in the last week. In Africa too, there are spikes in some countries.
Dr. Tedros said that WHO will continue to provide support to the countries which are in heightened response mode.
Covid-19 has already cost more than 3.3 million lives worldwide and continues to spread.
As for India, it is currently in the midst of a second deadly wave of the coronavirus pandemic with a total of 3,43,144 positive cases in the last 24 hours. The death count is 2,62,317. In December last year, India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 10 million mark and within a period of just six months, it has doubled, surpassing 20 million cases on May 4.
The WHO director lamented that the only way out of this pandemic was to save lives and livelihood with a combination of both public measures and vaccination.