“We Are At War” Against COVID-19, Says UN Chief

“We need the logic and urgency of a war economy, to boost the capacity of our weapons,” Antonio Guterres


The world is “at war” towards Covid-19, the UN chief stated Monday, calling for the applying of wartime logic to the inequitable entry to the weapons wanted to combat the pandemic.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decried the “tsunami of suffering” sparked by the coronavirus disaster.

Addressing the opening of the World Health Organization’s major annual meeting of member states, he identified that greater than 3.four million individuals have died and a few 500 million jobs had disappeared for the reason that illness first surfaced in China in late 2019.

“The most vulnerable are suffering most, and I fear this is far from over,” Guterres stated, stressing the continued risks of “a two-speed global response.”

“Sadly, unless we act now, we face a situation in which rich countries vaccinate the majority of their people and open their economies, while the virus continues to cause deep suffering by circling and mutating in the poorest countries,” he stated.

“Further spikes and surges could claim hundreds of thousands of lives, and slow the global economic recovery,” he stated, insisting that “Covid-19 cannot be beaten one country at a time.”

Faced with this dire scenario, Guterres urged recognition of the truth that “we are at war with a virus.”

“We need the logic and urgency of a war economy, to boost the capacity of our weapons,” he stated.

The UN chief final week referred to as on the G20 to arrange a activity drive that brings collectively all nations with vaccine manufacturing capacities and others who can assist enhance manufacturing of vaccines and different instruments wanted to battle Covid.

“It should aim to at least double manufacturing capacity by exploring all options, from voluntary licenses and technology transfers to patent pooling and flexibility on intellectual property rights,” he stated.

The activity drive must also handle equitable international distribution of vaccines, therapies and diagnostics.

The WHO and others have created Covax, a worldwide vaccine-sharing programme, nevertheless it stays severely underfunded and has confronted vital provide shortages, delaying efforts to roll out jabs in poorer nations.

To date, solely 0.Three p.c of Covid vaccine doses have been administered on the planet’s poorest nations, that are dwelling to almost 10 p.c of the worldwide inhabitants.

In addition to battling Covid-19, Guterres careworn the significance of getting ready for the subsequent pandemic, backing a variety of suggestions put earlier than the meeting for reform and strengthening of the WHO and of the worldwide well being system.

“The world needs political commitment at the highest level to transform the existing system,” he stated.

“The WHO must be at the heart of global pandemic preparedness. It needs sustainable and predictable resources, and it must be fully empowered to do the job demanded of it.”

Guterres urged member states to determine a manner ahead to “take the bold decisions necessary to end this pandemic.”

“Covid-19 must be a turning point.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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