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Covid-19: ‘Mass gatherings, virulent variants create a perfect storm for the virus to spread’ | India News


Head of the TO office for disaster risk reduction Mommy Mizutori He says Pradeep Thakur Covax is moving forward to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect vulnerable and high-risk people. Excerpts from the interview:
The world Bank It is estimated that 150 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty in 2021 due to Covid-19. How can India minimize the impact?
First of all, I would like to express my condolences to the people and government of India for the tragic loss of life that is occurring throughout the country. All major disasters affecting low- and middle-income countries cause economic losses on a scale that has a detrimental effect on their ability to eradicate poverty and meet other basic needs, including health services and access to education. In the case of Covid-19, we have seen how it has pushed millions into extreme poverty around the world and contributed to rising levels of hunger in many parts of the world where the informal economy on which the poor depend has been decimated. For all member states, poverty eradication cannot be achieved without reducing disaster risk and improving prevention, as nothing undermines development like disasters.
The United States and some other countries reserved enough shots for their citizens. Should India have done the same?
Much of the world looks to India for its vaccine supply, but the pharmaceutical supply chain is highly complex and specialized to the point that serving a population the size of India will always be a daunting task. The number of people already vaccinated in India is huge, but making enough doses to reach more than a billion people will take time.
How successful has the UN Covax program been?
Covax’s portfolio of facilities, managed by Gavi, currently consists of agreements related to eight vaccines, including those developed with the Serum Institute of India. Covax, coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Innovations in Epidemic Preparedness and the WHO, is making steady progress to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect vulnerable and high-risk people, as well as front-line health workers.
The second wave of Covid-19 has caused more deaths in India. Where did it go wrong?
Covid-19 demonstrates the systemic nature of disaster risk, how a biological hazard can devastate all areas of life, from public health to all socio-economic aspects of our societies. Unfortunately, many countries, including India, are learning the hard way that prevention requires more patience than previously thought and, in the case of biohazards, a longer plan of action. The WHO has warned that when there are massive concentrations, more contagious variants, and vaccination coverage still low, this can create a perfect storm for the virus to spread in any country. India has done an admirable job of harnessing technology and communication to ensure that effective early warning leads to early action in the event of cyclones. The challenge for the government now is to communicate effectively about the continued need for face masks, social distancing, and avoiding mass gatherings while, at the same time, implementing an effective vaccination program.
Your idea of ​​a ‘global response to future pandemics’ and vaccine distribution?
Had the global level of preparedness for this pandemic coincided with the warnings, much of the impact could have been reduced. An adequate level of pandemic preparedness would have cost billions instead of the trillions it is now costing. Loss of life and economic disruption could have been significantly reduced if we had been adequately prepared from the time biohazards were included in the Sendai Framework in 2015. Given the transboundary nature of biohazards, it is obvious that a global response plan for future pandemics. A mosaic response does not work for Covid-19 and it will not work against any emerging diseases and viruses in the future. It is not acceptable that developing countries have to wait so long to receive Covid vaccines. This inequality and lack of solidarity in accessing affordable vaccines only fuels the spread of the virus, allows the emergence of new variants and prolongs the pandemic. None of us are safe until we are all safe.
With Covid outages, can countries like India meet the Sustainable development goals objective?
It is clear that the death toll and economic loss from Covid-19 means that the Sendai Framework’s goals of reducing mortality, the number of people affected by disasters, and economic losses have suffered a major setback. However, we are still making significant progress on other goals. Asia and the Pacific are not on track to achieve any of the SDGs.

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