The United Nations declared the world “at war” against Covid-19 on Monday, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged governments to apply wartime logic to stark inequalities in the response to the pandemic.
Despite rapidly advancing vaccination rollouts in wealthy parts of the world, the crisis was far from over, he warned.
“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.”
US Secretary General said, we must “declare war on this virus”. We are committed to assisting the global community to marshal resources and work in solidarity to both overcome the spread of COVID-19 and ensure targeted support for those people and communities most affected by the disease.
Deadly outbreaks in India, Brazil and elsewhere have pushed the global death toll past 3.4 million people, even as vaccination programmes in rich countries such as the United States, Britain and Israel have allowed them to ease restrictions.
India’s death toll passed 300,000 and Japan opened its first mass vaccination centres.
India has witnessed horrific scenes in recent weeks with severe shortages of oxygen at hospitals and crematoriums overwhelmed, although the number of new daily infections has fallen in big cities.
But experts say the real numbers of deaths and infections in India — fuelled by a new coronavirus variant and “superspreader” events such as religious festivals — are probably far higher than the official figures.
“We are seeing the bodies along the river Ganges, which don’t seem to be recorded as Covid deaths but are very likely to be Covid deaths,” Ashoka University biology professor Gautam Menon told a news agency.