9 May 2021

• After the US announced its support for suspending intellectual property rights to boost global access to coronavirus vaccines, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Mario Draghi appealed to President Joe Biden to follow the EU’s example and start shipping significant numbers of vaccines, arguing that the world needs a faster solution for increasing vaccine supply. Source

• Delhi extends its lockdown for an additional week and adds new restrictions, including halting metro service. Source

• In Hong Kong, where  coronavirus vaccines are free and easily available, mistrust of the government has limited vaccine uptake; only 11.6 percent of the 7.5 million residents have been vaccinated and the government has warned that some of its supply will expire by September. Source

• In a shift from traditional Tory stance, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vows to prioritize funding for the National Health Service, which faces a COVID-related backlog of 4.7 million people waiting for care. Source

Lancet publishes an editorial criticizing India’s government and Prime Minister, Narenda Modi, for ignoring multiple warnings about a second wave of COVID-19, allowing huge gatherings, including political rallies and changing the vaccination policy without consulting states, saying that, at times, his government “… seemed more intent on removing criticism on Twitter rather than trying to control the pandemic.” The editorial urged India  to scale up its vaccination campaign and take measures to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, noting that the  Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts a million COVID-19 deaths by August, and noting that “…Modi’s Government would be responsible for presiding over a self-inflicted national catastrophe.” Source

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