Global Statistics

All countries
529,759,083
Confirmed
Updated on May 26, 2022 12:36 am
All countries
486,156,238
Recovered
Updated on May 26, 2022 12:36 am
All countries
6,306,291
Deaths
Updated on May 26, 2022 12:36 am
Thursday, May 26, 2022

Global Statistics

All countries
529,759,083
Confirmed
Updated on May 26, 2022 12:36 am
All countries
486,156,238
Recovered
Updated on May 26, 2022 12:36 am
All countries
6,306,291
Deaths
Updated on May 26, 2022 12:36 am
Molderizer and Safe Shield

State has part to play in ending vaccine injustice

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Live news: South Korea raises benchmark rate to 1.75% as inflation climbs – Financial Times

Live news: South Korea raises benchmark rate to 1.75% as inflation climbs  Financial Times Source link


Currently, the world’s focus is rightly on the catastrophic events that are unfolding in Ukraine, and the devastating humanitarian fallout.

But it is worth noting that last week (March 11) marked two years since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Yet, in low-income countries, just 6.3% of people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in comparison to 73% of the population in high-income countries. However, despite this glaring injustice, Ireland has yet to support a temporary intellectual property waiver (TRIPS waiver) that would force big pharmaceutical companies to share intellectual property that would enable countries in the Global South to manufacture generic vaccines and treatments for themselves.

So far, based on official records, approximately six million people have died from Covid-19 globally. However, the actual death toll is estimated to be much higher. The number of deaths will continue to rise in the absence of an equitable rollout of vaccines across the world. This pandemic will not end until everyone has access to Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

Vaccines have played a vital part in better protecting Irish citizens from Covid-19, and have contributed to the recent re-opening of Irish society. However, social and economic recovery from this pandemic is far from global. Inequalities in vaccine access between high- and low-income countries remain stark, and this is prolonging the global public health emergency.

Direct impacts of this inequality are reflected in preventable deaths and the rising numbers of people living in extreme poverty and hunger. Vaccine inequality also increases the risk of new coronavirus variants emerging that threaten the social and economic recovery globally.

In order for the pandemic to end, the people of Ireland must stand with those most at risk of Covid-19 by urging the Irish Government to work to ensure that the EU reverses its blockage of the TRIPS waiver. The waiver would enable the manufacture of affordable vaccines and their predictable supply around the world. The waiver has been supported by the vast majority of members of the World Trade Organization, however, the EU has persisted in opposing the initiative.

It is very welcome that the Irish government has been donating vaccines to low-income countries, but this is insufficient in the context of a global pandemic. I believe it is past time for Ireland to raise its voice in favour of the temporary waiver at the World Trade Organization. Countries must be allowed to produce their own generic versions of vaccines. This is about global solidarity and justice for the world’s most vulnerable communities.

You can sign the petition here: www.trocaire.org/petitions/ireland-speak-up-for-vaccine-equity/

Caoimhe de Barra

Chief executive, Trocaire

Maynooth, Co Kildare

Blood donor changes not communicated

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service has a serious problem with communication and this is hampering its efforts to collect blood from donors in Ireland ( Irish Examiner March 14): Students face blood battle in Vampire Cup. 

In December last year, the service announced it would reduce its ban on sexually active gay and bisexual men from a 12-month deferral to a four-month deferral from unspecified date in March 2022.

In response to a parliamentary question from Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan on February 15, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed the implementation date for this rule change would be March 28. In a radio interview on December 22, a spokesperson for the blood service confirmed the new policy would allow for oral sex between men for the first time.

Neither of these points have been announced anywhere else and only those familiar and interested in parliamentary questions on the Oireachtas website and those who heard that particular radio interview would know this — with less than 10 days to go to this important policy change.

There are many men in Ireland who will suddenly become eligible to donate blood come Monday, March 28. There are probably more who would be eligible had the blood service promoted this news over the last two months.

Instead, and quite disappointingly, the blood service and the minister for health seem intent on keeping implementation of these upcoming changes secret until the very last minute, despite these changes having the strong potential to bring new donors into the blood donor pool.

It has to be asked, why does the Irish Blood Transfusion Service not want Irish blood donors?

Tomás Heneghan

Church Square

East Wall

Dublin 3

Ministers Heather Humphreys and Helen McEntee at Dublin Airport where they met with people arriving from Ukraine. Picture: Maxwells
Ministers Heather Humphreys and Helen McEntee at Dublin Airport where they met with people arriving from Ukraine. Picture: Maxwells

We all need to rally together in this war

The saying “Cometh the hour cometh the man” is especially apt for Fergus Finlay’s latest article ( Irish Examiner March 15) The going may get very tough — but we’ve been here before. 

The magnanimity displayed by him is, unfortunately, not as common a currency as we often like to imagine. Would that his exemplary generosity of spirit would infect more of our fellow citizens at all levels.

He rightly chides those who simply want their corner protected even as we contend with an emergency every bit as menacing as many that our forebears ever had to face.

I am a supporter of one party in the present Government. However, I support it completely in its efforts to mitigate the effects of the current uncertainties caused largely by the megalomania of one man.

These uncertainties and the likely problems we face assuredly, require ALL of us to pull together if we are to have any chance of overcoming the difficulties and yes, privations that may lie ahead.

I am 73 and my generation never had to endure the prolonged exposure to the troubles that war can cause but we know from our parents something of what war means to everybody. War spares no one.

One thing I am certain unless we rally to the aid of one another and do what we can to help then our future is bleak indeed. On the other hand, if we put the common good in place of narrow sectional interest, we will weather any storm and become a better people for it.

Jerry Kelleher

Ovens, Cork

President Higgins delivered his Special Message to the Irish people, at home and abroad, marking St Patrick’s Day 2022. Picture: Maxwells
President Higgins delivered his Special Message to the Irish people, at home and abroad, marking St Patrick’s Day 2022. Picture: Maxwells

President’s statement not reported in media

When the president of any country makes a statement on important matters that country’s mainstream media usually reports on such statements. On March 15, President Michael D Higgins published such a statement concerning his letter to the presidents of a group of 15 non-executive European heads of state on the conflict in Ukraine.

Most of the Irish mainstream media has ignored this presidential statement.

President Higgins describes the Russian invasion of Ukraine as involving “clear breaches of International Law, Humanitarian Law and the basic Charter of the United Nations”.

This statement and letter contain the following points:

  • The President notes the specific possibilities contained in the perspective which can be brought by the group of those nations who are neutral countries within the 27 member countries that form the European Union;
  • The neutral member’s perspective … has real possibilities in creating the atmosphere for a meaningful ceasefire and a further move to meaningful talks for Ukraine and its people;
  • The demand for peace must return to our lives and streets, and we must give time to confront the outrage that is contained in the suggestion that the sole version of a shared life on our vulnerable planet must rely on armaments rather than a shared peace;
  • The inevitability of war must be rejected if we are to retain hope. 

President Higgins should be complimented on this important initiative and the wisdom of his words.

Edward Horgan

Castletroy, Limerick

Chance to build trust in the Middle East

The Ukraine war continues to have a major impact upon global energy prices. Recent political debate suggests that Iran will be brought in from the cold as geopolitical trends shift. This may drive diplomatic efforts with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) talks.

Whilst not perfect, the JCPOA does potentially provide a platform from which to build trust and manage tensions in the Middle East.

Through our administrative position within the JCPOA talks, Ireland can play its part with the failing states of the Middle East where Tehran boasts of its influence through the ‘axis of defence’, namely: Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

Parliamentary elections are due to take place in Lebanon in May. It is critical that any progress in the JCPOA talks does not grant Hezbollah a free license to maintain its spoiler position in Lebanon.

Colin Lee

Ballinteer, Co Dublin



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