Indonesia calls for worldwide COVID-19 vaccine access, as China recovers

Jakarta, May 5 (efe-epa).- The president of Indonesia urged for the COVID-19 vaccine and medicine to be accessible at an affordable price to all countries, including developing nations.

“We have to fight for equal and timely access to medicine and COVID-19 vaccines in an affordable price,” Joko Widodo said in a statement regarding his Monday’s speech at the virtual summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Widodo also requested that patents and intellectual property rights are applied flexibly on humanitarian grounds and called for bolstering cooperation to recover global food and health supply chains.

The Indonesian president considered that humanitarian spending and debt obligations in developing countries should now be devoted to combating COVID-19, which has caused more than 3.5 million infections and 251,000 deaths across the world.

The virtual summit of the NAM, which has 120 member countries, was held on Monday and convened by the organization’s “pro tempore” president, Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliev.

Other representatives and leaders who addressed the summit were Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

In China, health authorities reported Tuesday that 395 confirmed positive cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus remain in the country, of which 29 are in serious condition, in what constitutes the lowest figures since January.

Statistics fell sharply in the last 24 hours, according to the National Health Commission, as 87 patients were discharged and four more showed improvements.

Furthermore, only one more contagion was detected, in the eastern city of Shanghai, in a traveler from abroad.

The government did not report any deaths in its last announcement, so the total number of deaths from COVID-19 remains at 4,633, among the 82,881 infected patients officially diagnosed in China since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 77,853 successfully overcame the disease and were discharged.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said Tuesday his cabinet hadn’t yet discussed a plan to help rehabilitate Thai Airways and asked for cooperation from the airline to reduce unnecessary expenses and make improvements in various aspects. He also said this would be the last chance for the airline to cooperate. EFE-EPA


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