COVID-19: INDONESIA CALL FOR VACCINES EQUITY
Mr. Joko Widodo Indonesia’s President

Mr. Joko Widodo Indonesia’s President, has urged richer countries to share their vaccines with poorer ones, in an exclusive interview.

Saying it “shouldn’t be just a few countries that get all the vaccines, and some other countries get only a little,” speaking ahead of a visit to the G20 and COP26 meetings, where he will be meeting other world leaders.

Indonesia is one of the countries hardest hit by the Covid pandemic.

President Jokowi said also, “Everyone has helped, but in my opinion it’s not enough,” he said, in a virtual interview from the Indonesian presidential palace in Jakarta.

“In this time of crisis, advanced countries need to do more in helping poor countries get vaccines, so that we can overcome this pandemic together.”

Mr Widodo’s cams as Indonesia attempts to recover from the ravages of the pandemic. At its peak, the country officially recorded more than 50,000 cases a day, but the real numbers may have been higher. Nearly 150,000 people have died, according to government data.

People died in their homes, gasping for breath as oxygen supplies ran out across the archipelago. The sick were turned away from overflowing hospitals and funeral grounds ran out of space for the dead.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said that the country was “teetering on the edge of a Covid-19 catastrophe”.

Report says, Mr Widodo’s administration initially downplayed the disease. His former health minister Terawan Agus Putranto famously said the country would be spared from the virus, because of “all the prayers.”

In the interview, he acknowledged the mistakes his administration made in managing the pandemic, saying that it was down to the lack of healthcare infrastructure in the country.

“Our hospitals, our facilities were full and could not handle the load,” he said, “and that led to a lot of deaths.”

The COVID situation has improved since then, with both deaths and case numbers falling, according to government data.

The vaccination drive has also picked up. According to the latest data from the World Bank, Indonesia has given more than 100 million doses of vaccines in the country, with almost 30% of the population fully vaccinated – no easy feat in a huge archipelago.

like Jakarta an urban areas  are now seeing high levels of vaccination rates, rural areas are harder to get to.

“The difference between facilities is huge [between rural and urban areas], this is what we need to reform,” Mr Widodo said. “For example there is no ICU in some hospitals, we need to fix that and buy the equipment and get these facilities ready so that we can make it better.”

But critics say that it was not just a lack of investment in healthcare that was the problem – it was a lack of preparedness on the part of the government that led to hundreds of thousands dying when they could have been saved.

Getting vaccines into the mix and have been able to procure more supplies. But the delay in getting vaccines to the vast population has cost the country dearly.

Mr Widodo is pushing for developing countries to be allowed to house manufacturing facilities for vaccines – a proposal he is taking with him to the G20 meeting where he will meet with his global peers.

Earlier this year, leaked documents seen by the BBC showed that rich countries have attempted to block the vaccine manufacturing capabilities of poorer nations, citing patent protection and funding in new research for future vaccines.

Some people in undeveloped countries are saying if only undeveloped countries are given the opportunity to produce vaccines many will have not been death by now.

It is also recorded that President Buhari of Nigeria, has made a similar apple to wealthy countries not to keep vaccines to themselves and poorer nation citizens die.

Ref: BBC



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