• Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
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‘Vaccine export restrictions endanger Covid-19 fight’

  • Published at 08:41 pm March 5th, 2021
Italy Vaccination
People wait to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in Bergamo, Italy on March 1, 2021 Reuters

The EU executive has backed Italy's decision to block a shipment of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia

Britain said that restrictions on the export of Covid-19 vaccines could endanger the global fight against the virus, adding that it expected the European Union (EU) to honour commitments it made over its vaccine program.

"The global recovery from Covid relies on international collaboration. We are all dependent on global supply chains - putting in place restrictions endangers global efforts to fight the virus," Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said on Friday.

The EU executive has backed Italy's decision to block a shipment of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia.

"The PM did speak to (EU) President von der Leyen earlier this year and she confirmed that the focus of their mechanism was on transparency and not intended to restrict export by companies... we would expect the EU to continue to stand by its commitments."

The virus has killed at least 2,583,636 and infected 116,335,113 people worldwide since it emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.

The US is the worst-affected country with 533,641 deaths, followed by Brazil 261,188, Mexico 188,866, India 157,584 and Britain 124,025.

Meanwhile, US records fewer than 40,000 new cases in one day for the first time in five months after the country peaked at nearly 300,000 new cases on January 8.

India passes key vaccination milestone

India administered 1.4 million vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Friday, the highest in a day since the campaign began in mid-January as the government moves to address initial hiccups. India has so far given 18 million doses to about 15 million people.

African women suffer

The UN finds women in Africa are less likely to die from the virus than men but more likely to succumb to maternal complications due to increasingly limited access to services.

Ireland probes stillbirths

Irish health officials are investigating four stillbirths in women with the virus whose placentas became infected.

20 years for rule-breakers

Those who violate Kuwait's new 5pm to 5am, local time, curfew and mask mandate could face fines of up to $16,000 or up to 3 months in jail.

But that is nothing on Cambodia, where people face up to 20 years in prison for flouting rules after parliament passes a bill that rights groups have blasted as a tool to curb dissent.

'Stop whining'

President Jair Bolsonaro tells Brazilians to "stop whining" and renews attacks on restrictions as record daily death tolls force cities and states to announce new partial lockdowns.

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