Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US set to buy 500M doses for world: Biden



US set to buy 500M doses for world: Biden

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Elephants at a reserve in southern India have been tested for Covid-19 after a lion died of the virus. AFP

US set to buy 500M doses for world: Biden

The US is set to buy 500 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to distribute around the world, media reported on June 9, as France and Belgium relaxed virus restrictions to allow restaurants and cafes to serve indoors.

The Washington Post and The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, said President Joe Biden was due to formally announce the huge donation of Pfizer-BioNTech doses at a Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Britain this week.

The move comes as the US faces pressure to do more about the global vaccine shortage, with rich countries having bought up the lion’s share of early supplies.

With the global death toll at more than 3.7 million, many nations are still struggling to contain outbreaks.

Rapid vaccine rollouts in wealthier parts of the world, however, including the US and Europe, are allowing the return of activities unthinkable just a few months ago.

In France, that included sipping a drink inside a cafe, allowed on June 9 for the first time in months. With the easing of the curfew in the country, venues are not only opening up inside, they’re open later outdoors too – an extra two hours to 11:00 pm.

Belgium also relaxed restrictions, allowing cafes and restaurants to serve indoors, while mask-wearing rules were eased in Brussels.

Europe is continuing to see infection spikes in some places – Portugal, for instance, delayed Lisbon’s post-lockdown reopening on June 9.

But the bloc’s accelerating vaccination campaign has fuelled hopes of a return to normality. Almost half of all adults in the EU have received at least one shot, with almost 26 per cent fully vaccinated.

Optimism in Europe and the US, however, are still tempered by the outlook for billions of the world’s poor still with no sign of a vaccine in sight.

In what is believed to be the first known death of an animal in India from the coronavirus, a nine-year-old lioness at Vandalur Zoo in Chennai in Tamil Nadu state passed away early this month, local media reported.

The feline was among nine lions that had tested positive for the virus, including two who were in critical condition, Chennai’s The New Indian Express newspaper reported last week.

This prompted forest rangers at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in the south of Tamil Nadu to test 28 elephants, including two calves, for the virus on June 8 as a precautionary measure. The nasal and anal samples from the pachyderms were sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, with results expected to arrive in a week.

And while India is showing some signs of turning the tide against its brutal epidemic, that’s come at a cost to the neighbours it was previously supplying with vaccines. They’re now turning to Russia and Beijing for help with supplies.

Nepal, where barely two per cent of the population are fully vaccinated, resumed shots on June 8 after a million more Sinopharm doses arrived from China, the only country so far to respond to its appeals for help.

Sri Lanka has also been aggressively rolling out China’s Sinopharm jab after receiving two million doses in the past week, opening its programme to pregnant women on June 9.

In a further sign that the fight against the pandemic is far from over, Russia on June 9 warned of a spike in new cases that would force it to reopen mothballed field hospitals.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of