Port Louis – Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth calls for ‘fair distribution’ of Covid-19 vaccines amid fears that some parts of the world may be lagging behind in the fight for coronavirus immunity.
Mr. Jugnauth calls on world leaders to ensure that no country misses the important vaccinations once they are approved for use, and that governments must continue to coordinate with the World Health Organization.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the inequalities between countries and this is nowhere clearer than in the area of equitable and equal access to safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines,” he said. Jugnauth said. “Access is the key to changing the course of the pandemic and helping countries that are experiencing catastrophic economic and fiscal consequences move towards a resilient recovery.”
“We call for global leadership and coordinated response to ensure that any approved vaccine is distributed fairly.”
About 150 vaccines against Covid-19 are currently being developed around the world, but three have taken the lead in the vaccination race: Pfizer / BioNtech, Oxford University / AstraZeneca and Moderna. Initial trials for all three have shown promising results, but there is still a long way to go before it gets green light.
Even with an accelerated schedule, the first doses will not be available until early the end of the year, and then only for a limited number of people in countries that have ordered the vaccines. Widespread vaccination is unlikely to take place until the second half of 2021, and then the question is how less affluent countries will fare in the race for the vaccine, with experts predicting that countries with lower and middle incomes may not arrive until 2022. get mass vaccination.
The island state of Mauritius has already ordered 20 percent of the population vaccinations that go to the country’s frontline staff and those who are most vulnerable to the virus. Mauritius has a population of about 1.3 million people, many of whom live in densely populated areas, but due to early exclusion and strict quarantine measures, it was able to reduce the impact of Covid-19 to just 478 cases and ten deaths.
On the final day of the fifth edition of the Qatar Foundation’s WISH 2020 summit, Jugnauth told participants how Mauritius contained the virus, thanks to a multi-layered response, including a strict PCR testing regime, 14-day quarantine , isolation and treatment as part of the government’s inclusion strategy.
Even those with a relatively aging population with a high percentage of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Mauritius achieved a perfect 100 on the Oxford University Stringency Index which follows the government’s policies and actions regarding COVID-19.
“Given our circumstances, our response was announced as one of the most effective in the world, as we managed to contain the virus that reached our coast on March 18, within six weeks,” he said. Jugnauth said.
However, he added that the unprecedented scale and extent of pandemics still poses challenges for Mauritius, particularly the ‘drying up of international visitor numbers, in terms of business as well as tourism’.
To reduce the impact, Jugnauth said his government provides economic, income and job support to the sectors of the economy.
“As a center of our own recovery policy, my government is committed to replenishing significant national resources that will account for nearly 30 percent of the country’s GDP, to supporting and expanding the economic recovery of Mauritius,” he said. .
One positive impact of the pandemic was that young people had an increasing interest in careers in medicine and public health as well as STEM subjects, he said.
“If anything positive can come out of 2020, it is that adversity creates commitment and offers resistance,” he said. “It is a war that we, and especially our youth, will not forget and from which we will grow.”
WISH is Qatar Foundation’s global health initiative. For more information on WISH, visit: wish.org.qa