Duterte accuses rich countries of having accumulated Covid vaccines

As his country lags considerably behind in vaccinations against Covid, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday denounced the ric...

As his country lags considerably behind in vaccinations against Covid, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday denounced the rich countries of the world at the United Nations, accusing them of hoarding vaccines while the poor “wait for nets”.

Bolstering his reputation as a direct speaker, Duterte called the gap between rich and poor over immunization rates scandalous. His remarks, delivered via a pre-recorded video to the 193-member General Assembly, were among the most vocal criticisms of the inequalities exposed by the pandemic.

Only 10 rich countries account for most of the 5.86 billion doses of vaccine administered so far.

“There is an artificial vaccine drought ravaging poor countries,” Duterte said. “Rich countries accumulate life-saving vaccines while poor countries wait for nets. They are now talking about reminders, while developing countries are considering half doses just to get by.

The disparity, he said, “is shocking beyond belief and must be condemned for what it is – a selfish act that cannot be justified either rationally or morally.”

The Philippines has one of the lowest Covid vaccination rate in Asia, with only 16% of its population fully vaccinated, and Delta variant infections have increased in recent months. The country is also one of a handful of schools closed throughout the pandemic, that put its 27 million school-aged children at greater disadvantage.

Mr. Duterte justified the closure of primary and secondary schools by arguing that students and their families must be protected from contagion. But his policies have sparked a backlash among parents and students in a sprawling nation with rampant poverty. Many people, especially in remote and rural areas, do not have access to e-learning.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Duterte accuses rich countries of having accumulated Covid vaccines
Duterte accuses rich countries of having accumulated Covid vaccines
Newsrust - US Top News
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