Britain leads demands to vaccinate the WORLD! Boris calls on G7 to back international fund

Putin criticises ‘politically motivated restrictions’ on vaccines

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The Prime Minister will urge the leaders of the seven biggest economies to come together to fund an international vaccine programme which will ensure everyone in the world is vaccinated. He will ask for the leaders including US President Joe Biden and senior figures from the EU to make concrete commitments to vaccinate the entire world against coronavirus by the end of 2022 when he welcomes them to Cornwall for the G7 Summit later this week.

It comes as government sources have indicated that the June 21 roadmap date of lifting almost all the covid restrictions domestically in Britain will be met despite a rearguard action by pro-lockdown scientists.

A UK Government spokeswoman said “no decision” had been made on whether to ease all coronavirus restrictions on June 21, amid reports Boris Johnson could delay the move by at least a fortnight.

“As the Prime Minister has set out, we can see nothing in the data at the moment to suggest that we need to deviate from the roadmap,” said the spokeswoman.

“We continue to look at the data and the latest scientific evidence and no decision on Step 4 has yet been made.”

But in a week where he has tightened restrictions on foreign travel and added Portugal to the amber list, Mr Johnson has made it clear that the new front against the terrible disease is tackling it abroad, particularly in poorer countries. 

Speaking ahead of the G7 Summit, the Prime Minister said: “Next week the leaders of the world’s greatest democracies will gather at an historic moment for our countries and for the planet.

“The world is looking to us to rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era: defeating Covid and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values.

“Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the single greatest feat in medical history.

“I’m calling on my fellow G7 leaders to join us to end to this terrible pandemic and pledge will we never allow the devastation wreaked by coronavirus to happen again.”

The conference will also include the Prime Ministers of Japan, Canada and Italy as well as French President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

The EU Commission and Council Presidents will also be present as well as  leaders from Australia, South Africa, South Korea and the UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is dealing with a massive wave of the pandemic in his own country will join by video link.

G7 leaders will arrive in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Friday for three days of meetings on a huge range of global issues, with a particular focus on how the group can lead the global recovery from coronavirus.

During those sessions they will be joined virtually by experts, including Sir Patrick Vallance, Melinda French Gates and David Attenborough. On Saturday the G7 countries will be joined either in person or virtually by the leaders of Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India for discussions on health and climate change.

As well as asking leaders to join the UK in efforts to vaccinate the world, the Prime Minister will call on them to support the Global Pandemic Radar – a new global surveillance system which will protect immunisation programmes against new vaccine resistant variants by detecting them before they have the chance to spread.

Alongside efforts to defeat the pandemic itself the Prime Minister will stress the need to build back better, with a recovery that puts opportunity, sustainability and democratic values at its heart.

Meanwhile, the government was warned to think very carefully before caving into pressure to delay easing lockdown further or bringing in new measures.

Professor Carl Heneghan, an urgent care doctor and director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine said: “People need to think very hard about how we define a wave going forward because if it is defined as cases in hospital we will be in this forever.”

He said many those going into hospital with coronavirus were not dangerously ill but being admitted for a short period to take advantage of new treatments.

New NHS England figures show there are now a total of 124 patients who are on mechanical ventilation compared to the January peak which was 3,736.

In Scotland there are now 8 on ventilators. It is estimated approximately 25 percent of patients of these are long term patients.

Professor Heneghan added: “Individuals are too quick to assume that increases in infections are all about the virus without assessing the context in which the virus has spread – the social deprivation, comorbidities and economic circumstances of those patients.”

Malcolm Loudon a senior surgeon with expertise in epidemiology said: “Many of the patients with covid in hospital will just be those who are there for other reasons but have tested positive. Many of those on ventilators are legacy cases and will have been there for more than four weeks. Some of those with covid are not seriously ill but coming in because they are feeling knackered.

“Really there is nothing much to see with coronavirus, however as clinicians who work with patients what we are seeing is the consequences of lockdown measures for example an increase in people coming in with advanced cancers whose referrals were delayed.”

Scientists have also indicated that the Covid-19 vaccine appears to have “broken the chain” between catching coronavirus and becoming seriously ill, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said.

Chris Hopson said the number of people in hospital with the Covid-19 variant first detected in India, also known as the Delta variant, was not increasing “very significantly”.

He told BBC Breakfast that many of those in hospital in Bolton – which has the highest number of cases of the Indian variant in England – were younger than in previous waves of the pandemic.

Mr Hopson said in the most recent phase of the pandemic the number of people in hospital in Bolton with Covid-19 peaked at 50, compared to 170 in November and 150 in January and February.

Of the 12,431 Indian variant cases so far confirmed in the UK, 10,797 are in England, 1,511 in Scotland, 97 in Wales and 26 in Northern Ireland. 

In England, the cases are spread across the country, and the most affected areas include Bolton in Greater Manchester (2,149 cases), Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire (724), Bedford (608), Leicester (349), Manchester (278) and Birmingham (223).

However, Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) Government advisory panel, said the Government has a “difficult call” to make about easing restrictions on June 21.

He told Times Radio: “It’s a hard one. I’m going to be annoying and sit a little bit on the fence on this, as I don’t think it’s our role as epidemiologists to call that.

“I think the difficult thing that we have, the difficult situation the government have is of course if you delay that then of course you’ll get a smaller subsequent wave.

“I mean that’s the case with any control policy – if you leave them in for a longer period of time then it’s going to reduce cases.

“But of course, if you delay that we know that negatively impacts businesses, people’s livelihoods, and so forth.

“So this is the difficult call that they have to make, and all we can do is put together as much evidence as possible and say this is what we expect to happen if you relax on June 21, this is what we may expect if you delay that by two weeks for example or four weeks and so on, so they have all the evidence they can to make the decision.”

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