Covid-19: UN chief calls vaccine distribution 'emergency'

United Nations - "If Covid-19 continues circulating in the global south, it will inevitably mutate," Guterres said.



By AP

Published: Fri 29 Jan 2021, 8:06 AM

The United Nations chief is calling the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines a “global emergency,” saying more that 70 million doses have been administered but fewer than 20,000 vaccinations were on the African continent.

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Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday that while every country has the duty to protect its own people “no country can afford to neglect the rest of the world.”

He called “vaccine nationalism” both a moral and economic failure and said: “We need a global vaccination campaign to deal with a global pandemic.”

If Covid-19 continues circulating in the global south, it will inevitably mutate, Guterres told a news conference. New variants could be more deadly and more transmissible and threaten the effectiveness of current vaccines, “prolonging or risking to prolong the pandemic significantly.”

Research by the International Chamber of Commerce showed that without support to the developing world, “this crisis could cost the global economy up to $9.2 trillion –- almost half, including in the wealthiest countries,’’ the secretary-general said.


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