Australia is stonewalling a proposal to temporarily waive the intellectual property rights of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, affecting how many doses can be manufactured.
Global COVID-19 cases have reached record highs in recent weeks with millions of new daily cases. India, in particular, is struggling, with hospitals turning away patients amid shortages of hospital beds and medical equipment. Australia has banned all flights from India until at least May 15 in response to the climbing numbers, leaving 9000 Aussies stranded in a virus-ravaged country.
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will meet virtually on Friday to discuss the proposal. The waiver is supported by many developing nations, including India and South Africa -- though it's being blocked by the US, EU, UK, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, Canada, Australia and Brazil.