Tech mogul and philanthropist Bill Gates made a controversial statement regarding the patents in vaccine technology and has ruffled quite many feathers. Bill Gates, in an interview with Sky News, was asked if it would be possible to change the intellectual property law so as to enable the formula for COVID vaccines to be shared. However, he denied sharing the formulae with developing nations and said, "Well, there's only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety of vaccines. And moving something that had never been done -- moving vaccine, say, a from a (Johnson & Johnson) factory into a factory in India -- it's novel -- it's only because of our grants and expertise that can happen at all."
Gates said the reason behind holding "things back" in terms of global vaccine rollout "is not intellectual property. It's not like there's some idle vaccine factory, with regulatory approval, that makes magically safe vaccines. You know, you've got to do the trail on these things. Every manufacturing process needs to be looked at in a very careful way."
The Microsoft founder has faced flak for making such a statement at a time when nations are grappling with the massive COVID-19 crisis. India is facing an unprecedented surge in Coronavirus cases during the second wave.
India reported the highest ever single-day spike with 3,86,452 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 1,87,62,976 on Friday, as per data by the Union Health Ministry. This is the ninth straight day that India reported more than 300,000 new COVID-19 cases in the country.
The health ministry data says 3,498 patients have succumbed to the viral disease in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 208,330. Active caseload surged by 85,414 and currently stands at 3,170,228 from the 3,084,814 reported previously. This accounts for 16.90% of the total confirmed cases in the country.
Meanwhile, as many as 297,540 patients were discharged in the last 24 hours and so far 15,384,418 people have recovered from the disease, the central health ministry's dashboard showed. With this, the country's recovery rate stands at 81.99%, the data also showed.