Rights campaigners have also called for G7 foreign and development ministers who are meeting in London to consider the question of overriding pharmaceutical companies’ Covid-19 patents.
Activists and many world figures argue that the step is the only way to speed up access to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines for developing nations at a time when richer countries have bought up a large part of the global supply.
The contrast between those with vaccines and those without is clear. Western nations where vaccination programs are well advanced are now lifting many of the restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Mask mandates have been eased in the US and Israel, while across much of Europe, hospitality venues are reopening and residents are planning summer vacations.