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Coronavirus lays bare social inequality, warns UN
chief Antonio Guterres
The Covid-19 crisis “has revealed how unequal our societies are,” said United Nations Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres in his message released on Monday for the World Health Day
The Covid-19 crisis “has revealed how unequal our societies are,”
said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his
message released on Monday for the World Health Day.
Highlighting the inequalities and injustices that have been
apparent throughout the pandemic, the UN chief said in his
message for the day to be marked on Wednesday that the vast
majority of vaccine doses administered so far have been confined
to “a few wealthy countries” or those producing the shots cleared
for distribution, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“Within countries, illness and death from Covid-19 has been
higher among people and communities that contend with poverty,
unfavourable living and working conditions, discrimination and
social exclusion,” said Guterres. Thanks to the COVAX initiative,
the UN backed international effort to provide equitable vaccines
across the world, more countries are receiving doses, “but most
people in low and middle income countries still must watch and
wait,” the top UN official added.
“Such inequities are immoral, and they are dangerous for our
health, our economies and our societies.” To date, COVAX has
shipped more than 36 million doses to 86 countries, the UN chief’s
spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told correspondents at the UN
headquarters on Monday. Algeria received more than 36,000
doses over the weekend from COVAX, he said, helping to
accelerate the vaccination campaign already underway there.
“The UN Resident Coordinator, Eric Overvest, said the new doses
will help ensure that no one is left behind,” Dujarric added. “Our
teams on the ground have helped to train healthcare workers,
sensitize people on vaccines, and supported the cold chain.”