«United Omicron account». Contagions in ten European countries – Corriere.it

from Alessandra Muglia

Minister Speranza: support for fragile countries, it is not enough to give vaccines. Great Britain accelerates: the third dose will be done three months after the second

Acting together and immediately to stop Omicron: it was the agenda of the G7 health ministers urgently summoned yesterday by London, president in office. And in and around South Africa it was feared that collaboration between the world’s seven largest economies would center on concerted border closures. It didn’t happen like that. The identification of the new variant in the southern area of ​​Africa confirms the urgency to do more to vaccinate the population of the most fragile countries, declared Minister Roberto Speranza in his speech. The vials, of course, but not just those. It is not enough to donate doses, we must concretely support those who do not have structured and widespread health services like ours – the minister clarified -. It is necessary to be sure that the donated vaccines are actually administered and, to do so in the most fragile countries, the coordinating role of the UN and the WHO will be needed. An extended approach that of Speranza, incorporated in the conclusive document of the summit: against the new variant, defined as highly transmissible, the ministers recognized the strategic importance of guaranteeing access to vaccines also by providing operational assistance, carrying out donation commitments and addressing vaccine misinformation, as well as supporting research and development. Supply of doses, but also support in logistics and materials (from syringes that are in short supply to devices for the cold chain).

Europe divided

The developed countries have therefore renewed their commitment to guaranteeing vaccines to the most vulnerable countries (the billion vials promised by the G7 in June) without giving up on pushing at home on third doses. With the pioneering Great Britain, which yesterday authorized the booster for all adults just three months after the recall. Good intentions have been reiterated. The G7 managed to deliver less than 300 million doses so far compared to the billion promised in June, Italy has supplied 3 million out of 45 – he says to Courier service Rossella Miccio, president of Emergency, an NGO that is part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance -. Rich countries have grabbed 95% of the vaccines produced and with the rush to third doses we do not expect generosity to increase. The problem is not solved with donations. A change of pace would be needed: the temporary suspension of patents would make it possible to increase production even in low-income countries. South Africa itself has proposed it in the WTO, and over 100 countries are in favor, but Europe is divided.

WHO: There have been no reports related to the Omicron variant to date

The G7 closed by praising South Africa’s exemplary work in identifying the variant and warning others. And even Joe Biden praised Pretoria’s transparency, quick to notify variant. Appreciation that comes in the aftermath of the resentment shown by President Ramaphosa for the punishment inflicted on his country, isolated for having discovered the new variant. The stop to flights from southern Africa imposed by many countries appears to be an ineffective measure also because Omicron is already in half the world: from the United Kingdom to Australia, from Canada to Hong Kong via Israel. was traced in 10 European countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and, with cases reported yesterday, also Austria, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. To date, no deaths related to the variant have been reported Omicron assures WHO, asking to keep the borders open. The new variant has been called worrying because all teams around the world get the most information since we don’t know much about it, explained Sylvie Briand, director of the epidemic risk management department at WHO.

November 29, 2021 (change November 29, 2021 | 22:22)

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