Covid live news: Barcelona curfew ‘not justified’ as infection rates fall, court rules; Japan reports record cases

Posted by on August 19, 2021 9:36 am
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Categories: Global Stories

Spanish court lifts coronavirus curfew imposed on most of Catalonia; critical care beds reaching capacity in Japan

2.32pm BST

Vaccines stockpiling by richer countries is “causing much preventable suffering, needlessly prolonging the pandemic, and leaving us all at risk of vaccine resistant variants”, writes British Medical Journal editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee.

It is not a lack of manufacturing capacity: it is possible to make enough vaccines for the world. Instead, vaccine preventable deaths and illness are occurring across Africa, Asia, and Latin America at an unprecedented speed and scale. And the reason? A free market, profit driven enterprise that is based on patent and intellectual property protection, combined with a lack of political will. So, while rich countries hoard a billion unused doses, poorer nations, with only 1-2% of their populations vaccinated, remain at the mercy of the virus.

The answer is equally clear, say our editorialists. Vaccine manufacture needs to be globalised, intellectual property rights relaxed to allow technology transfer, and regional manufacturing hubs established. More than 100 countries have backed this approach, but it is being blocked by vaccine manufacturers and rich countries.

2.16pm BST

The EU will recognise national Covid certificates from Turkey, Ukraine and North Macedonia from tomorrow, opening the way to easier travel for their residents, the European Commission said.

AFP reports that the “equivalence decisions” mean those three countries’ certificates will be connected to the bloc-wide EU digital Covid certificate system, the EU executive said.

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