Nautilus International is urging the UK government to waive certain medical patents to ensure greater access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, particularly in the global south.
Namely, in a letter addressed to prime minister Boris Johnson and maritime minister Robert Courts, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson calls on the UK to back a waiver of the usual patent rights offered under the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS agreement, in order to help increase manufacturing and access to Covid vaccines around the world.
Studies from the UK, Southeast Asia and Latin America have also shown that workers transporting people and goods are at a heightened risk of contracting serious Covid infections and are much more likely to die.
Moreover, the pandemic has had a serious impact on the welfare of key transport workers travelling across international borders. At the start of the year, for example, around 400,000 seafarers were stranded on ships, working long past the end of their contracts and unable to be repatriated.
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