GENEVA: The World Health Organisation yesterday approved the first Covid-19 vaccine from China in a bid to boost global immunisation drives, as India logged yet another record number of infections that have spilled over into neighbouring countries.
And while many Western countries are starting to reopen as vaccinations gain pace, authorities in Tokyo and other parts of Japan extended virus states of emergency, less than three months before the Olympics.
In Geneva, the WHO approved for emergency use the Sinopharm vaccine (pix), the first fully non-Western vaccine to get the green light, and build up the global arsenal against the virus.
“The number of cases, the number of deaths globally is on the increase,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
“We will see serious situations like what we see now in India, in Brazil,” he warned.
The WHO has already given emergency use listing to the vaccines being made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and the AstraZeneca jab being produced at separate sites in India and in South Korea.
Listing paves the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve and import a vaccine for distribution.
It also opens the door for the jabs to enter the Covax global vaccine-sharing scheme, which aims to provide equitable a