Australia this Wednesday called for urgent access to the one million doses of vaccine it bought from AstraZeneca and the European Union to supply Papua New Guinea, recording the latest outbreak of Covit-19.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he wants to use the amount Australia has ordered and paid to fight the corona virus in Papua New Guinea, an island in northern Australia.
“We make a formal request to AstraZeneca and the European authorities to have access to the one million dollars we have requested from AstraZeneca, not to Australia, but to Papua New Guinea, the developing country most in need of these vaccines.Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
“We have signed a contract for these amounts and we have paid for them. We want these vaccines to come here so that they can help our closest neighbor Papua New Guinea.“, He added.
Australia has taken action following Italy’s ban on AstraZeneca vaccines made on European soil, which were imposed on Australia in early March. Rome justified the move with “persistent shortage of vaccines and delivery delays of AstraZeneca” in the European Union and Italy.
Brussels did not object to the siege decided by Italy, declaring that other countries could do the same.
Papua New Guinea, one of the poorest countries in the Pacific with a population of 9 million, has officially registered more than 1,000 new Govt-19 cases since March 1, more than double the total number of victims since the virus entered the country a year ago. Anus. .
The lack of evidence makes it difficult to quantify the extent of the infection there, and the slowdown in the testing process raises concerns that the virus is spreading too fast among the population. Officials have warned that the country’s weak health system is having trouble coping with the epidemic.
Paul Kelly, the Australian medical director, said half of the women who went to hospitals in the capital, Port Moresby, tested positive because they were pregnant. A number of leading health workers also contracted COVID-19. “These are all signs of a major epidemic in the community.Kelly said.
Marap warned this week that one in three to four people in Papua New Guinea could become infected soon. “If we do not give the right answer to this, our health system will collapse and we will not be able to maintain it.Marabe told reporters in Port Moresby.
Australia expects Papua New Guinea to receive 588,000 doses of the vaccine from the World Health Organization’s Kovacs program between April and June, sending it mainly to low- and middle-income countries.
Papua New Guinea is separated from the Australian mainland by an archipelago across the Strait of Torres, where residents have been pushing the island between the two countries for generations.
Morrison announced new restrictions on flights between the two countries on Wednesday. The sea border is closed due to the epidemic, but it is difficult to monitor. Several recently discovered COVID-19 cases have crossed the border in the Australian state of Papua New Guinea, Queensland. Morrison said the Papua New Guinea emergency “presents very real risks to Australia.”
(With information from AFP and AP)