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The government called for the vaccine patent to be waived as protesters marched on Downing Street.

Campaigners have called on the British government to end its opposition to the vaccine patent exemption, which would allow poorer countries to create their own corona virus.

Protesting Britain’s stance on the issue, dozens of protesters gathered outside parliament on Tuesday evening and carried coffins. Down the street As a symbol of the lives lost due to vaccine inequality.

The four coffins, laden with flowers, carried the messages “Drop Patent” and “Pharma Grade Kills” on the shoulders of the protesters dressed in black.

A year ago, India and South Africa asked. World Trade Organization (WTO) CoVide 19 should consider temporarily waiving intellectual property rights for vaccines so that the world’s needy can be vaccinated faster.

Although dozens of countries have now backed the proposal, the European Union and a handful of countries, including the United Kingdom, have opposed it.

Global justice nowThe campaign group that led the protest says the UK government should reconsider its position, pointing out that 3.5 million people have been infected with the virus worldwide since the policy was first proposed. People have died. That’s the equivalent of 10,000 people who die every day from Quaid 19.

Highlighting the disparity in vaccination rates between rich and poor countries, the organization’s director Nick Dyerden said the UK had fully vaccinated more of its citizens than 132 other countries.

According to Global Justice Now, the UK has a population of only 68.2 million while the total population of 132 other countries is over 1 billion.

“We think it’s morally obscene. It’s also very stupid and far-sighted: the more the virus is allowed to run unchecked in some parts of the world, the more likely it is to change and we’ll eventually We’re going to end up with a type that gets more of the vaccine that we’ve got here, “Mr. Derden said.

Nick Dyerden, head of Global Justice Now, stands in front of the march.

(Rory Sullivan)

He added that Britain and Germany were leading members of the group, which was opposed to the patent waiver.

However, the EU country Germany, which is against the most concessions, may soften under the new government. If that happened then the UK would be even worse off.

Elena Ivanova, Global Justice Now’s campaign officer, stressed that the situation was “unbearable” for both the South and the rest of the world.

“The epidemic has shown that this is an interconnected world. The long-term economic impact of casualties and epidemics will come back to haunt us.

Ms Ivanova added that the coffin, which traveled to the White Hall with sambar violin music, “was used to convey the message that we have endangered the lives of the original people who were killed in the last 12 years.” It could have been saved in months. ”

JustMed Donald, a director of Just Treatment, a group that campaigns for health on corporate profits, issued a similar, if not stern, rebuke. “The British government’s involvement in this means they have blood on their hands. They are spreading the epidemic,” he said.

Protesters carry a coffin outside the gates of Downing Street on Tuesday evening.

(Rory Sullivan)

A government spokesman said the UK was proud to play a key role in global efforts to develop and distribute the CoV 19 vaccine.

He also said the UK would remain “constructive” on the issue of exemptions, but stressed that the world needed to focus on expanding its existing vaccine distribution system.

Fiona Corps, one of the protesters in March, said she was disappointed with Britain’s views on possible exemptions.

“I was hoping that when the United States changed its position, we would follow suit. But it didn’t happen, which is really disappointing. Free. “It’s an emergency – people are dying. People must come before profits.”

Mr Dairdon, head of Global Justice Now, said the situation was reminiscent of the HIV / AIDS crisis of the 1990s and 2000s, when pharmaceutical profits stood in the way of treating tens of thousands of people.

But he said he was hopeful that change was coming. “If I have any hope, it is that at least we will learn from this epidemic and fundamentally change the way we work in pharmaceutical research and development,” he said.

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