Saturday, 04 December 2021

USA announces the launch of globe Covid-19 tracker portal

USA announces the launch of globe Covid-19 tracker portal

On Wednesday, The USA announced the launch of a publicly accessible and comprehensive global tracker of progress on battling Covid-19 - from hospitalization to vaccination rates to vaccine donations pledged and delivered - to bring transparency and accountability to the fight.

Accessible at covid19globaltracker.org, the site will be run by the WHO, WTO, IMF, and the World Bank Group.

“It will help provide two serious elements for stopping the pandemic - transparency, because we need a centralised source of data to stay ahead of Covid and accountability, because we all need to follow through on our commitments,”

USA secretary of state Antony Blinken said, announcing the launch of the tracker, at a global meeting of foreign ministers on Covid-19.

India was represented by foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the meet, which was held virtually.

The tracker, which has gone live, says its goal is to measure progress towards the global targets for access to Covid-19 vaccines, treatments, tests, PPEs, other tools, and delivery of donor pledges.

The listed targets were based on targets identified by the WHO’s ACT (Access to Covid-19 Tools) - A Strategic Plan & Budget, the Multilateral Leaders Task Force (comprising the IMF, WHO, WTO, and the World Bank Group), the IMF’s Pandemic Proposal, and the Covid-19 summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in September, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders.

Public health officials and experts worldwide have pointed to the lack of transparency and accountability as a critical driver of the pandemic from its start in China in November 2019 to its spread to every part of the globe, killing 5.08 million people.

Blinken also announced a public-private partnership to support countries vaccinating their people.

USA announces the launch of globe Covid 19 tracker portal 1pixabay image

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He said.

“Leading private companies will work pro bono to share their capabilities and expertise to support vaccination drive, taking on issues like managing supply chains and helping optimise vaccine sites to deliver shots as quickly and safely as possible,”

The third and final announcement Blinken made was about vaccinating people in regions and areas not accessible by governments, such as conflict zones.

“I’m pleased to share that the US has helped broker a deal between J&J and Covax (the WHO-run global effort towards equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines) to facilitate the first delivery of J&J vaccines to people living in conflict zones and other humanitarian settings.”

This was the first meeting of foreign ministers on Covid-19, the secretary of state had pointed at the start of the ministerial, and the need for it was felt like one of the critical learnings of dealing with the pandemic was that it cannot be left to only public health officials and experts.

Blinken said, adding that he hoped several more would follow as part of an ongoing discussion.

“This pandemic has taught us that preventing and responding to global health emergencies cannot be the responsibility only of health ministers or global health experts because a pandemic isn’t just a health crisis. It’s also a security crisis and economic crisis, a humanitarian crisis,”

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