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COVID-19: Four million death toll must spur governments and companies into action

Reacting to the news that four million people have now died globally from Covid-19 according to John Hopkins University, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard, said:

“At least four million lives have now been lost to Covid-19. This devastating milestone must spur richer governments and companies into immediate action. How many more millions must die before the knowledge and technology to produce enough vaccines for everyone are made universally available?

“The life-saving impact of vaccines is clear. Since January, the number of people dying in countries that have managed to give at least one dose to over half the population has reduced by over 90 per cent.

“Yet, because vast swathes of the world have little or no access to vaccines, one person is still dying from Covid-19 every 11 seconds – mostly in lower-income countries. Equal access to vaccines shouldn’t be based on where you live, it’s a basic human right.

“With many rich countries moving towards the lifting of restrictions, the deadly impact of Covid-19 is still rife. The death toll continues unabated in Latin America, while India and Nepal have faced deadly surges, and health systems in Indonesia and Southern Africa are at risk of being overwhelmed.

“Many of these countries are still facing acute vaccine shortages which can only be resolved by both urgently sharing doses and removing the barriers preventing the scale up of global production.

“World leaders must further support moves to lift intellectual property restrictions on life-saving products and push pharmaceutical companies to share their knowledge and technology. This is a global issue that requires urgent global action now. No one is safe, until everyone is safe.”