Global report: leaders urge free vaccines as France allows staycations

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French drugmaker criticised for giving US priority; Gordon Brown says Covid-19 solution is global

More than 140 world leaders and experts have called for future Covid-19 vaccines to be made available to everyone free of charge, amid growing tensions between drug companies and governments and a boycott of vaccine summits by the US.

Vaccines and treatments for the virus should not be patented, say the signatories to an open letter published in the run-up to next week’s meeting of the World Health Assembly, the policy-setting body of the UN’s World Health Organization. Instead, scientific breakthroughs must be shared across borders, they urge.

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, lifted a state of emergency in large parts of the country, including a majority of prefectures. He said it would remain in place in Tokyo and in the second-largest urban area, Osaka, until the virus was contained.

Qatar introduced a law threatening citizens and residents with three years in jail or a £45,000 fine if they leave home without a face mask. The only exception is for people driving alone. The measure follows a surge in infections among migrant workers.

Afghanistan recorded its biggest one-day rise in coronavirus cases. The health ministry in Kabul warned of a second phase of transmission as war rages across the country.

The US embassy in Tanzania said hospitals there were being overwhelmed by an “exponential growth” in Covid-19 cases. In a strikingly critical statement, the embassy warned that the risk of contracting the virus was “extremely high” in the capital, Dar es Salaam, and beyond.

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Source: afghanistan
Link : Global report: leaders urge free vaccines as France allows staycations

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