David Miliband: 1m Covid-19 deaths isn’t just a grim milestone – it shows a short-sighted global response

In truth there is just not enough testing to know the scope of the disease in large tracts of the world

9/29/2020 4:10:00 AM

David Miliband: 1m Covid-19 deaths isn’t just a grim milestone – it shows a short-sighted global response

In truth there is just not enough testing to know the scope of the disease in large tracts of the world

responses, the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan for Covid-19 remains woefully underfunded, with just $2.8bn pledged of $10bn needed.If every leader of a G20 country dedicated even a fraction of what they’ve invested domestically to global efforts, we might spot a light at the end of the tunnel. That would pay for personal protection equipment (PPE), hand-washing stations, fever testing, isolation centres – and real facts to counter disinformation that is present in all the places that NGOs like the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where I’m president and CEO, work.

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The global recorded figures show the need for more to be done. The African continent has now surpassed one million cases, amid serious concerns of testing shortfalls; southeast Asia nearly 6.5 million; and finally the Americas, which now shoulder more than 50 per cent of the global caseload, with nearly 16 million cases and counting. 

But in truth there is just not enough testing to know the scope of the disease in large tracts of the world. The Democratic Republic of Congo has 100 million people and just over 60,000 tests. The test positivity rate in Yemen is over 30 per cent – because their testing system is virtually non-existent.

Watch more‘This is genocide’: Inside the bizarre rise of coronavirus conspiracy theoriesBritain has its own problems for the next six months, but as a member of the UN Security Council it needs a global perspective.  Syria has seen a more than 400 per cent jump in Covid-19 cases during the past eight weeks; Libya, a doubling of cases during the last four weeks and test positivity of 20 per cent; Lebanon has recorded a 500 per cent increase in cases since the Beirut blast. Meanwhile, in Mexico, there are 5,000 new cases per day and test positivity of a staggering 51 per cent.

Covid-19 is the first pandemic of the connected world.  It is a wake-up call, because it won’t be the last disaster that needs to be addressed. We need to fight it with renewed vigour, and learn the right lessons for the future. Read more: The Independent »

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