Australian support is needed to avert the risk of a COVID surge in Indonesia similar to India.
Indonesia is already trying to contain one of the worst outbreaks in Asia and has now detected the Indian variant within its borders.
End COVID For All campaign spokesman Reverend Tim Costello said “Indonesia could be devastated by COVID on a similar scale to India if action is not taken now.
“Earlier this week, two cases of the Indian variant were detected in Indonesia, and those are just the ones we know of.
“Indonesia does not have the same testing capabilities, nor the robust health system we have in Australia.
“With more than 1.67 million virus infections and more than 45,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, it is clear Indonesia is not equipped to handle another outbreak.
“It is also one of many developing countries that relies heavily on other countries for its vaccine supply.
“The wealthiest 27 countries have approximately 40 per cent of the world’s vaccines while the world’s poorest countries have received just 1.3 per cent of the vaccine doses.
“On top of this, double and triple mutations of the virus are being reported in India. This is a threat to global vaccinations efforts as they could render current vaccines ineffective.
“There are also very concerning reports of virus surges from Laos to Thailand and in countries bordering India, such as Bhutan and Nepal.
“Not only do we have a moral obligation to help our neighbours but COVID remains a threat to Australia with a potential outbreak on our doorstep.”
In next week’s budget, the Federal Government needs to step up and contribute Australia’s fair share of $200 million to the COVAX AMC in 2021 to help plug the $2 billion USD funding gap. The COVAX AMC is working to ensure at least 30 per cent of the population in developing countries is vaccinated.
Plus, we need to further invest to strengthen health systems in the Asia-Pacific.
The End COVID For All campaign is also calling on the Federal Government to help prevent famine with an emergency package for the worst hunger spots across the world with an estimated 270 million people either at high risk of, or already facing acute levels of hunger, due to the pandemic.