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Sunday, April 18, 2021

World Coronavirus Dispatch: Global leaders call for international treaty

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With misinformation, vaccine hesitancy ruling in parts of Serbia

Much to the surprise of many, Serbia has raced ahead in its vaccination programme, delivering more than 31 jabs for every 100 people. However, the misinformation around vaccination is so ripe that authorities are still finding strong resistance in some pockets. Polls show that hesitancy to get the jab is a significant force. Once supply of doses outstrips demand, how do you convince sceptical communities to be vaccinated? As coronavirus cases climb again, its president said “I am begging you people, call to get the vaccine, we have them and we will have them even more, i am begging you like a God, take it.” Read here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Global infections: 127,775,460

Global deaths: 2,794,246

Nations with most cases: US (30,332,358), Brazil (12,573,615), India (12,095,855), France (4,615,295), Russia (4,486,078).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Canada suspends use of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine for those under 55

Even after WHO allayed concerns about the formation of blood clots, Canada suspended the use of the AstraZeneca shot for people under 55. “There is substantial uncertainty about the benefit of providing AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to adults under 55 given the potential risks,” said the country’s top health agency. The AstraZeneca shot, which has been authorised in more than 70 countries, is considered a pillar of a UN-backed project known as Covax that aims to get Covid vaccines to poorer countries. Read here

World leaders call for an international treaty to combat future pandemics

The leaders of more than 12 countries have called for an international treaty similar to the one that followed World War II needed to cross-border cooperation before the next global health crisis upends economies and lives. The leaders warned that the current pandemic will be followed by another one invetiably and said they aim to contain future pandemics effectively. The current situation is “the biggest challenge to the global community since the 1940s.” The treaty, according to them is aimed to provide universal and equitable access to vaccines, medicines and diagnostics. Read here

Ireland maps out a plan for revitalizing rural life after the pandemic

As the coronavirus forces a realignment of how people live and work, Ireland is hoping to use the moment to help struggling small towns and villages to narrow the ever-widening gap with urban centers. The Irish government announced this week that it was prepared to spend about $1 billion to encourage people to settle in rural areas, hoping that an investment in revitalising town centers and other incentives will lure back younger people who have for years flocked to cities. Nearly half of people in Ireland live in rural areas and small towns, but the government hopes that the proposals will lift that number. Read here

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