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What are G7 countries promising on COVID vaccines? | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Pledges of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to poor countries are seen as an effort to counter China’s widening vaccine diplomacy.

Group of Seven leaders are pledging to donate hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries around the world.

United Nations’ chief Antonio Guterres criticised wealthy nations in February, saying distribution was “wildly uneven and unfair” and warning against so-called “vaccine nationalism” and “vaccine hoarding”.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the pandemic is being perpetuated by a “scandalous inequity” in vaccine distribution.

The commitments are also seen as an effort to counter China, which is one of the world’s biggest economies, but is not part of the G7.

China has shipped vaccines to 66 countries in the form of aid, according to state news agency Xinhua, and has also pledged to supply 10 million doses to COVAX which is backed by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVAX aims to secure 2 billion vaccine doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.

Before the new pledges this week, only 150 million doses had been promised to COVAX, far short of the 250 million needed by the end of September.

Below are the G7 pledges so far:

United States

US President Joe Biden plans to buy and donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to more than 90 countries. He has also called on the world’s democracies to do their part to help end the pandemic.

US drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech , will provide 200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million doses in the first half of 2022, which the United States will then distribute to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses and has to be stored in extremely low temperatures.

United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that “the G7 will pledge to distribute vaccines to inoculate the world by the end of next year, with millions coming from surplus UK stocks.”

The UK has mainly used the two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine for its population, which was developed with the University of Oxford.

Britain says that G7 leaders are expected to agree to provide 1 billion doses via dose sharing and financing to end the pandemic in 2022.

Johnson has pledged to donate at least 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses within the next year, including 5 million beginning in the coming weeks.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is cheap and easy to transport, is a key component of the COVAX programme.

US President Joe Biden held talks on Thursday with Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G7 summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

EU – including Germany, France and Italy

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the European Union aims to donate at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.

That includes a promise by France and Germany to donate 30 million doses each, with Italy donating 15 million doses.

France has also said it has donated 184,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to Senegal through the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme.

Japan

Japan has said it will donate about 30 million doses of vaccines produced within the country through COVAX.

Japan last week delivered to Taiwan 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for free.

Taiwan, which emerged from the first year of the pandemic relatively unscathed, is battling an outbreak that began last month.

Canada

Reuters news agency has reported that Canada is in talks to donate excess doses through COVAX, although it has not yet made public any firm commitment of donations, or said how much it plans to donate.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Former Minister Tumubweine Burial Set for Thursday

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Ephraim Manzi Tumubweine the Former Minister of Privatization and former Rukiga county Member of parliament is to be laid to rest on Thursday.

He will be buried at his ancestral home in Kigara, Kamwezi sub county in Rukiga district.

Manzi succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday at around 10pm at Case Clinic in Kampala where he has been admitted.

Tumubweine who was the Kabale University Council Chairperson collapsed during the 5th Graduation Ceremony at Kabale University on May 28th 2021 and was rushed to Kabale regional referral hospital. He was later referred to Case Clinic in Kampala from where he passed away on Friday.

Former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda described Tumubweine as a leader of integrity who served the government and the people of Rukiga with distinction.

Jack Sabiti, the former Rukiga County MP who is also the National chairman of the elderly council in the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party says that the death of Tumubweine is a big blow to the people of Rukiga. Sabiti says that despite the deceased being his political rival they were close friends.

Pulikeria Mwine Muhindo, the Rukiga RDC says the burial function will be conducted under strict adherence to the Covid 19 guidelines, with only 20 people allowed at the  burial grounds

 

 

The post Former Minister Tumubweine Burial Set for Thursday first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Rwanda repatriates Ugandan soldier

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Pte Bakulu Muhuba being handed over to Ugandan authorities

Pte Bakulu Muhuba being handed over to Ugandan authorities

A Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier Pte Bakulu Muhuba has regained his freedom after being released by Rwandan security. Muhuba, who is attached to the 32nd Battalion Nyakabande in Kisoro district, was arrested by Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) soldiers at around 2:45 pm on Sunday while allegedly found loitering in Kamanyana-Majyambere village in Burera district, Rwanda. 

RDF soldiers on patrol, intercepted Muhuba who was donning a UPDF uniform and carrying a Medium Machine Gun (MMG) with 100 rounds of ammunition, a pair of binoculars, a cell phone, and his military ID documents.

However, a Ugandan security official at Chanika border who preferred anonymity refuted Rwanda’s claims, saying that Muhuba was with a group of fellow UPDF soldiers patrolling the Ugandan side of Chanika border on Saturday evening around 5:50 pm but stayed behind to ease himself.  

Later, he fell into an ambush of Rwandan soldiers who’d crossed to the Ugandan side. They allegedly placed him at gunpoint and whisked him off to the Rwandan side. On Sunday evening at around 9 pm, Rwandan security officials repatriated Muhuba and handed him over to Ugandan security officials at no-man’s land at Chanika border. 

Captain Peter Mugisha, the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, witnessed the repatriation and hailed RDF for releasing Muhuba unhurt. Such incidents are common along the Uganda-Rwanda border.

A mark stone that separates Uganda and Rwanda

On May 25 this year, two RDF soldiers crossed to Kazaza and Mukayaga villages in the Kamwezi sub-county, Rukiga district. The soldiers, who included a captain and his two escorts crossed to Uganda in pursuit of waragi smugglers. 

The soldiers returned to Rwanda without being arrested by Ugandan security authorities. The governments of Uganda and Rwanda have been feuding since 2019. On February 27, Rwandan President, Paul Kagame issued a travel advisory to his nationals against traveling to Uganda, saying their safety is not guaranteed.      

He accused Ugandan authorities of abducting its citizens and locking them up in non-designated areas. Kagame also accused Uganda of hosting and facilitating dissidents especially from Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) which have declared war on the Kigali government.

The Rwandan authorities advised the truck drivers to use the Mirama Hill border in Ntungamo district. The border closure took a huge toll on truck drivers and suffocated business along the border especially Katuna and Chanika town. This led to an increase in smuggling along the border with most Rwandan nationals crossing to Uganda through porous border points to buy food. 

Rwandan authorities, on accusations of smuggling, have shot dead at least eight people including Ugandan and Rwandan nationals. On July 30, 2019, President Museveni told journalists at Kabale State Lodge that they are discussing the impasse with his Rwandan counterpart.

However, to date, the negotiations mediated by the Angolan President, João Lourenço and his Democratic Republic of Congo counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi, are yet to bear positive results.



Source – observer.ug

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India eases COVID rules as new cases dip to two-month low | Coronavirus pandemic News

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Many states, including capital New Delhi, ease restrictions as new infections drop to the lowest since March 31.

Many Indian states have eased coronavirus restrictions, including the capital New Delhi, where authorities allowed all shops and shopping centres to open, as the number of new infections dropped to the lowest in more than two months.

Experts have cautioned against a full reopening as India has vaccinated only about 5 percent of its estimated 950 million adults with the necessary two doses, leaving millions vulnerable.

Infections peaked in India in May with about 400,000 new cases a day but that dropped to 70,421 new infections reported on Monday, the lowest daily increase since March 31, health ministry data showed.

The number of deaths went up by 3,921, the data showed.

India has had the second-highest tally of COVID-19 infections in the world after the United States, with 29.51 million cases and 374,305 deaths, according to ministry data.

Authorities in Delhi allowed all shops and shopping centres to reopen although bars, gyms, salons, cinemas and parks remained shut.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said markets and restaurants would be carefully watched this week.

“If we see coronavirus cases are going up, we will have to reimpose strict restrictions,” Kejriwal said in a televised address on Sunday.

Hospitals in Delhi had struggled to provide oxygen cylinders and beds to patients last month as infections surged but, earlier this month, the city allowed businesses to bring back 50 percent of employees and partially resumed public transport.

In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, known for automobile manufacturing, some businesses were allowed to bring back 50 percent of employees and salons and liquor shops re-opened. Bus services remained suspended until June 21.

In Bengaluru, the capital of neighbouring Karnataka state and a major tech hub, traffic returned to the streets as authorities allowed the partial re-opening of businesses though the strict night and weekend curfews remained in place.

The pressure to resume some economic activity has grown as millions depend on daily wages to pay for food and rent.

“India needs to reopen as the challenge of maintaining a fine balance between lives and livelihoods is very crucial,” said Rajib Dasgupta, head of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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