It's in UK's interest to support other countries through Covid-19 pandemic | Annie Lewis

While life in the UK seems to be getting progressively better, another country on the other side of the world is being defeated by the pandemic.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 4:54 pm
NEW DELHI, INDIA - MAY 03: Patients who contracted the coronavirus lie in beds while connected to oxygen supplies inside the emergency ward of a Covid-19 hospital on May 03, 2021 in New Delhi, India. India recorded more than 360,000 coronavirus cases in a day for the 12th day in a row as the total number of those infected according to Health Ministry data neared 20 million. The real figure could be up to ten times higher, many health experts say, due to a lack of widespread testing or reporting, and only patients who succumbed in hospitals being counted. A new wave of the pandemic has totally overwhelmed the country's healthcare services and has caused crematoriums to operate day and night as the number of victims continues to spiral out of control. (Photo by Rebecca Conway/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

The situation in India is chaotic and devastating, with the country currently battling more than 20m infections.

To put it into perspective, the UK’s deadliest day was January 20 where 1,820 deaths were recorded. On April 28, India recorded more than 3,000. However due to erratic testing and records, the official figure is actually unknown.

Outside some crematoriums in Delhi, dozens of dead bodies were on the pavements, covered with sheets and flowers in the heat.

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What has made things worse is the slow vaccine roll-out. Although the country is home to the Serum Institute – the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer – only 10 per cent of India’s population have received their first vaccine.

Although many of us can sympathise with the country and its dire situation from a distance, it simply reiterates how the vaccine roll-out needs to be distributed fairly across the world.

India is 13 times bigger than the UK. The sheer number of people the country has to vaccinate is almost incomprehensible to us in the UK. For those living in rural parts of the country, it is almost impossible to receive medication without transport.

But what is happening in India is microcosmic of other third-world countries. Afghanistan, Nigeria, Egypt and Vietnam are just a handful which have vaccinated less than one per cent of their population.

More needs to be done to ensure governments and countries with low socio-economic levels are supported during the pandemic. No country should look at the vaccine roll-out as a race. Until these other countries catch up, the pandemic continues to threaten our sense of normality with emerging variants.

The more these variants ravage through different countries, the higher chance it will arrive in the UK. It is in all of our interests to support other countries defeating coronavirus and rolling out the vaccine.

The Gates’ divorce could have huge global implications

Philanthropic billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing after 27 years of marriage.

A joint statement released by the couple said ‘we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives’.

This potentially has huge implications for one of the biggest philanthropies in the world – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – which spends $5bn a year across the world. One divorce attorney tweeted: ‘Can’t think of a single divorce in history with farther reaching implications.’

With Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott’s divorce settlement costing $36 billion, this one is likely to be a bit bigger…

I hope the government is wary about foreign travel

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the travel guidance to be released on May 17.

It has been rumoured that some destinations, including Portugal and Canaries, are no longer classed as ‘unacceptably high’ risk.

While many are desperate to jump on a plane and fly to sunnier climes, I hope the government is wary about how much the country opens up and to which countries.

With foreign holidays and travel comes the scary prospect of new variants entering the country and potentially further lockdowns.

I think the government will rely on the public to take their own personal responsibility, which perhaps doesn’t fill me with the most confidence.