As the world marks two years of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed greater than six million folks globally, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday cautioned that it might be a “grave mistake” to assume the disaster is over and voiced concern that just about three billion individuals are nonetheless ready for his or her first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Two years ago, the lives of people around the globe were upended by a virus. COVID-19 spread and relentlessly into every corner of the world shutting down economies, choking off transportation networks and supply chains, closing schools, separating people from their loved ones, and plunging millions of people into poverty,” Guterres stated in his message on two years of the pandemic.
He famous that resulting from “unpreceded public health measures” and the terribly fast growth and deployment of vaccines, many elements of the world are bringing the pandemic below management. “But it would be a grave mistake to think the pandemic is over, he said.
More than 446 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded worldwide in the two years since the pandemic began and more than six million people have died, with countless more grappling with worsening mental health, Guterres said. The UN chief voiced concern over the scandalously unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Manufacturers are producing 1.5 billion doses per 30 days, however practically three billion individuals are nonetheless ready for his or her first shot,” he said, adding that this failure is the direct result of policy and budgetary decisions that prioritize the health of people in wealthy countries over the health of people in poor countries. “This is an ethical indictment of our world. It can also be a recipe for extra variants, extra lockdowns and extra sorrow and sacrifice in each nation. Our world can not afford a two-tier restoration from COVID-19,” he said. “Science and solidarity have confirmed to be an unbeatable mixture. We should re-dedicate ourselves to ending this pandemic for all folks and all international locations, and shutting this unhappy chapter in humanity’s historical past, as soon as and for all,” he said.
As global crises, particularly the Russia-Ukraine war, continue unabated amid the pandemic, Guterres said nations must keep their eyes on the target of vaccinating their populations. “Despite the quite a few different world crises, we should attain our objective of vaccinating 70 per cent of individuals in all international locations by the center of this 12 months, he stated.
Governments and pharmaceutical firms have to work collectively to multiply the variety of international locations in a position to produce assessments, vaccines and coverings by sharing licenses and mental property, and offering the required technological and monetary assist. “At the same time, we need strong national vaccine-delivery systems at the ready including efforts to counter disinformation and get vaccines into arms,” he added.