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Together In Action Against Corona
Samen In Actie Tegen Corona


Jaarbeurs, Utrecht

Wednesday, 12th May 2021

Marion Koopmans and André Rouvoet at the opening of the action.

Giro555 campaign against corona starts in Utrecht: 'Pandemic continues without global vaccinations'

May 12th 2021, 11:14 • 3 min reading time

PROVINCE OF UTRECHT - It is great that we in the Netherlands will be largely vaccinated against corona next summer, but the harsh reality is that we will not get rid of the virus if there is no worldwide vaccination. In Utrecht, the cooperating aid organizations therefore opened Giro555 this morning for a national action to combat covid-19 also in poor and vulnerable countries.

At the Jaarbeurs, people can immediately make a corona-proof donation after a vaccination via the QR code on the posters and banners and via the Giro555 website. There is also a 555 collection box. This American school bus will visit various places in the country during the action and, among other things, drive past puncture locations.

Virologist Marion Koopmans was at the start of the action in Utrecht this morning, which was musically framed by pianist Laurens van Rooijen. She sees the vaccination campaign in the Netherlands gaining steam, but has mixed feelings. "We are already seeing the effects in hospitals in the Netherlands, but worldwide there is a lot of difference in access to vaccines. In Africa, for example, only 1 percent have been vaccinated. The pandemic will only pass if there is a global jab. Until then, it will continue to fester with new variants."

Koopmans: "It is logical that the governments first focus on their own situation, but international solidarity is important now that there is more room for this." GGD boss André Rouvoet was also at the kick-off of Giro555 action this morning. "The GGD largely jabs the Netherlands and we are doing so at an ever-increasing pace, but we are not in the same situation everywhere in the world. As GGD, we think it is important to emphasise this."


Dave Gurnani, chairman of The India Foundation, is grateful for the action, he said at the opening. "It is very important that we do this together and I would like to thank everyone. I hope that people in other countries will also be helped and not just India."

In India, about 4,000 people a day are currently dying from the virus. There is a great shortage of raw materials and the demand is unprecedented with one and a half billion inhabitants. "The disaster in India shows the devastating consequences of corona and makes it shockingly clear that faster vaccination is vital," the aid organizations said.

They are also very concerned about the situation in Nepal. The money raised is for corona victims and for making vaccination possible in vulnerable countries. It also provides emergency medical aid.


Suzanne Laszlo, Action Chair of Giro555: "All eyes are now on India, but we are holding our breath about what may happen in other countries in the coming weeks and months. That is why we call on all people in the Netherlands to show solidarity with people in countries where getting a vaccination is much more difficult than here. For example, due to logistical challenges and inadequate healthcare. We want to support healthcare in these countries, by providing emergency medical care, but also by providing protective clothing, refrigerated distribution and education about the importance of vaccination."

The aid organizations behind the action are: Stichting Vluchteling, Cordaid, CARE Nederland, Kerk in Actie, Oxfam Novib, Save the Children, UNICEF, Nederlandse Rode Kruis, Plan Internationaal Nederland, Terre des Hommes and World Vision.

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