TOKYO: As Japan goes ahead with Olympics 2021, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that the coronavirus pandemic is a test in which the world is failing.
The pandemic could have been under control by now, if vaccines that were "meant to douse the flames of the pandemic" were allocated more equitably, Ghebreyesus said in his keynote speech at the 138th International Olympic Committee Session.
"The distortion in the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines has exposed and amplified the searing inequalities that have stained human history for aeons, and which imperil our future," he lamented.
"The pandemic is a test. And the world is failing. More than 4 million people have died, and more continue to die. Already this year, the number of deaths is more than double last year's total," Ghebreyesus said.
He noted that the global failure to share vaccines, tests, and treatments — including oxygen — is fuelling a two-track pandemic: the haves are opening up, while the have-nots are locking down.
Moreover, even after 19 months of the pandemic, and seven months since the first vaccines were approved only 1 per cent of people in low income countries have received at least one dose, compared with more than half of people in high-income countries. (IANS)