Several countries and foundations are set to pledge more than $500 million Thursday for a global pool aimed at ensuring equitable access to coronavirus tests, treatment and vaccines for all nations, organizers of a French forum said.
The third edition of the Paris Peace Forum, which seeks to address governance issues with concrete projects, takes place Thursday and Friday in the French capital and is dedicated to finding ways to ease and get out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It takes place as the number of cases is rising rapidly across Europe and beyond.
It also comes just days after American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech reported highly promising results for their vaccine candidate, raising hopes globally.
Marine trade revival seen
Global maritime trade should recover next year after tanking by 4.1 percent in 2020 owing to the coronavirus, a UN agency forecast Thursday.
“The pandemic has sent shockwaves through supply chains, shipping networks and ports, leading to plummeting cargo volumes and foiling growth prospects,” the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said in its annual review of maritime transport.
UNCTAD expects maritime trade growth to rebound by 4.8 percent next year, “assuming world economic output recovers.”
But “the short-term outlook for maritime trade is grim,” it noted.
COVID-19 cases overwhelm hospital
After several weeks of rapidly rising coronavirus cases, hospitals around the United States are once again overwhelmed, forcing local authorities to take new measures to cope with the pandemic.
On Wednesday a record 65,368 people were in the hospital with COVID-19 across the country, marking the second day in a row and second time ever that the tally passed the 60,000 mark, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Around the country officials were scrambling to staunch the spread.
More than 1,000 people are hospitalized in the county of El Paso alone, a substantial portion of the state’s nearly 6,800 hospitalizations.
County officials have requested additional mobile morgues.
The situation in El Paso is typical of the difficulties local governments are facing in the United States, where President Donald Trump has downplayed the epidemic and left handling of the health crisis to state, county and city officials.