Two pandemics: as we ease up, virus sweeps the world…
While in some parts of the world it is easy to hope the worst is almost over, Covid-19 is now charting a catastrophic course globally. The world ignores the unfolding disaster at its peril.
“No-one,either individual country or through collective global leadership, is acting on scale needed right now. Public health & humanitarian crises are escalating not only in India but many part of South Asia,Central & South America & Middle East & at grave risk spreading further
Leaders in the G7, G20 and at the @UN Security Council cannot stand back. Sharing vaccines with vulnerable countries, & all the tools needed to tackle the virus, is urgent. Any decision to delay further will have dire consequences.
“Rich countries, including the UK, US & EU, have bought up the majority of existing vaccine supplies. They must start sharing vaccines with the rest of the world now through COVAX, alongside national rollouts.
Vaccinating whole world isn’t just the morally right thing to do – it’s in every nation’s scientific, public health & economic self-interest. Controlling the pandemic everywhere is our only way of saving lives, restoring livelihoods and growing economies.
If we fail to drive down virus transmission globally at this critical moment, we will all ultimately suffer. Our world will become even more inequitable, fragmented & far more dangerous, just at the time we need to come together to address shared challenges of the 21stCentury
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board has issued this clear & powerful statement @TheGPMB
"The @TheGPMB is deeply concerned by COVID-19 situation globally, which has entered a new & very serious phase. The number of new cases continues to grow & hospitals & health workers in many countries are overwhelmed, with oxygen & COVID-19 treatments in critically low supply.
Health care systems under extreme pressure, some close to collapse or have collapsed. This situation is beyond capacity of the health sector to solve on its own; it requires a determined & collective political response. It now a whole of society, a humanitarian & a security issue
This virus knows no borders & the disastrous situation is now threatening the whole South Asia region, the Middle East, and South East Asia. The situation in South & Central America continues to worsen & the continent of Africa is at grave risk of further waves, as is South Asia.
If the virus takes hold of very vulnerable regions with millions of displaced people and fragile or conflict zones, the world will face a public health and humanitarian disaster of unprecedented magnitude.
The @TheGPMB urges mobilization of an international response to urgently support India as it fights to contain the virus and assist vulnerable countries in the region to prevent a potential surge in cases.
. @TheGPMB urges countries support equitable access COVID-19 vaccines thru COVAX. COVAX has insufficient supplies to respond to this crisis at scale required. We ask G7 & G20 nations to immediately share their current supply & commit to roadmap sharing future supply thru COVAX
The GPMB calls on the @UN Security Council to demonstrate its concern & immediately take action with the World Health Organization & @UN to prevent this rapidly growing crisis from escalating further.
We ask for this situation to be urgently put on the agenda of the UN Security Council & upcoming G7 & G20 meetings as well as the regional bodies & international finance organizations.
If we do not act now, this will turn into a world crisis – health, social, economic and humanitarian– of historic proportions.
And yet we have the tools, all the tools needed - science and public health has delivered & yet we have not been willing to ensure their equitable access

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More from @JeremyFarrar

29 Apr
Time for the unfolding global crisis to be discussed & immediate collective action at the @UN Security Council. The public health & humanitarian crisis in India will not stop at the borders & risks a regional & global wider catastrophe.…
The pandemic is increasing in scale & impact in multiple regions, very fragile health systems, recent conflict, millions of displaced people - we are watching a regional & potential global public health & humanitarian disaster unfold.…
The situation in many regions is worse than awful, the health system has collapsed or is in imminent danger of collapse and with it sectors of society, the situation in parts of middle east are heading in the same direction.
Read 8 tweets
21 Apr
News reports are chilling as the pandemic continues to expand globally. This may seem far away, almost abstract in countries where transmission is now lower & vaccine available & equitably accessible. Reality is very different in many parts of the world.…
This very personal experience was shared by a friend today. It brings home the reality of the global situation and the impact of continued transmission and an inequitable access to vaccines.
“My dad told me that in our village - 12 people died Covid related deaths over the weekend. Those are the ones we know of. Today my uncle died - my dad’s brother. He is the 5th member of my immediate and extended family to die in the last few months."
Read 9 tweets
12 Apr
A chilling headline but realistic and honest assessment from @WHO. The only way to change this is to combine all the tools - Public Health, Diagnostics, Treatment, O2, PPE & Vaccines. But will only work if these tools are equitably available everywhere.…
Very small group countries can make this happen globally. Pandemic will continue if those countries who can do not share all tools. New variants will arise-it is enlightened self-interest,needs political leadership, an economic imperative as well as scientific, public health wise
History will not be kind on those who chose not to share, who created a world of have & have nots, of growing inequality - and a protracted pandemic in which new variants arise and spread. We face a choice. What sort of world do we want?
Read 6 tweets
9 Apr
Clinical syndrome rare blood clots temporally associated vaccination but not proven to be causally related must be taken seriously & investigated with an open mind.…
Meanwhile follow guidance of independent regulators @MHRAgovuk @EMA_News @WHO who in my view rightly recommend continued vaccine use in all adults
A hypothesis to be tested with studies & data. The rare clinical syndrome temporally related to vaccination is remarkably similar to a clinical syndrome of central venous thrombosis seen after SARS-COV2 infection reported in multiple case reports & series…
Read 7 tweets
18 Feb
Audio Interview: Viral Variants and Covid-19 | NEJM…
During the discussion I was reminded of another podcast from May 2019 @NEJM - Haunting to listen to now "Emergence & spread of new infectious diseases and ensuring swift, coordinated action in the face of threats."…
And the accompanying editorial "Stopping the Gaps in Epidemic Preparedness"…
Read 4 tweets
31 Jan
Until we are all safe, no one is safe. Covid is a global problem ⁦…
It is reasonable & understandable for countries to roll out vaccines to vulnerable people & #HCW within country. But at the same time ensure that vaccines are made available urgently & equitably globally through ACT-A, @WHO, @GAVI & @CEPIvaccines
That needs intense planning, manufacturing at scale, trust, communication, logistics, people & teams, regulation, approvals, cold chains. That does not happen overnight. Urgent planning now for when vaccines are available is crucial.
Read 8 tweets

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