Britain’s PM Johnson urges global unity on pandemics, pledges extra COVAX funds Sep 27, 2020 0 1403 12345 DPALondonBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday called for the “tattered” international community to cooperate more closely to combat pandemics, pledging an extra 500 million pounds (640 million dollars) for a global vaccine fund.“After nine months of fighting Covid, the very notion of the international community looks tattered,” Johnson said in advance excerpts of a speech to the UN General Assembly later Saturday.“We know that we cannot continue in this way,” he said. “Unless we unite and turn our fire against our common foe, we know that everyone will lose.” Johnson pledged the additional 500 million pounds, on top of 48 million pounds already promised by Britain, for the World Health Organization’s COVAX vaccine procurement partnership of more than 150 countries - not including the United States and China.The COVAX programme aims to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure they reach communities in greatest need. It supports research on nine vaccine candidates and other drugs.Britain will also provide an initial 71 million pounds to secure purchase rights for up to 27 million vaccine doses for its population.Johnson announced a five-point plan to prevent future pandemics, developed in consultation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.It would create a global network of “zoonotic hubs” to identify viruses and other pathogens that could cross from animals to humans, as many scientists believe COVID-19 did.The plan includes expanding production capacity for treatments and vaccines, improving pandemic alert systems and removing trade barriers.The prime minister, who required intensive care treatment after catching the virus in March, has faced criticism at home for his own handling of the crisis.Almost 42,000 people testing positive for the virus in Britain have died, and Johnson this week announced further restrictions following a sharp rise in cases. RELATED ARTICLES Australian rescuers save 108 whales after mass stranding Sep 27, 2020 0 322 Paris cleaver attack suspect says wanted to target Charlie Hebdo Sep 27, 2020 0 685 Stand-alone Sep 27, 2020 0 740 S Korea demands Pyongyang further probe killing of official SEOUL: Seoul said on Saturday it will demand further investigation by Pyongyang into the killing of a South Korean official after a rare public apology from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The fisheries official was .. State health minister quits over Australia’s worst COVID-19 outbreak DPA Sydney The state health minister in Victoria resigned from her post on Saturday, as her handling of the state’s COVID-19 outbreak, by far Australia’s worst, has come under criticism and been the subject of an inquiry. .. Mexico vows further investigations into missing students MEXICO CITY: Six years after 43 students disappeared and were most likely murdered in south-western Mexico, the government has promised further investigations. “We must not give up hope,” Mexican President Andres .. Fresh detentions as women lead latest round of Belarus protests DPA Moscow Several hundred women took to the streets of Minsk on Saturday to kick off another weekend of protests by those who say Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stole August’s election for a sixth term in .. Ukraine crash survivor dies as toll climbs to 26 CHUGUIV: One of the two survivors of a Ukrainian military plane crash died in hospital as the death toll climbed to 26 on Saturday after three more bodies were found. President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at the scene of the .. Confident Biden ready to face Trump’s ‘lies’ in debate AFP Washington US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Saturday he expects “personal attacks and lies” from Donald Trump in their first televised debate on Tuesday, but showed confidence in his ability ..