Corona lays bare social inequality: UN

Diplomatic Correspondent

7 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The Covid-19 crisis ‘has revealed how unequal our societies are’ said the UN chief in his message for World Health Day.

Highlighting the inequalities and injustices that have been apparent throughout the pandemic, UN Secretary General António Guterres said in his message for the day to be marked today, 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.

“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.

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 UN chief 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, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told correspondents at UN Headquarters on Monday.

As of April 5, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is reporting that there have been nearly 131,021,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including more than 2,850,520 deaths.

Up to the end of 31 March, there had been 547,727,346 vaccine doses administered worldwide.

“As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must implement policies and allocate resources so all can enjoy the same health outcomes”, said UN chief.

That will involve reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, he added, “and it means delivering universal health coverage so everyone, everywhere, can thrive.”