May 13, 2022
NEW DELHI – Addressing the second Global Covid Virtual Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today underlined the need for a coordinated global response to combat future health emergencies, saying all nations must together build a resilient global supply chain and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines.
“WTO rules, particularly TRIPS, need to be more flexible. WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture,” he said at the summit convened by US President Joe Biden and attended by several world leaders.
Modi also called for streamlining the WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep supply chains stable and predictable. ”As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts,” he added.
Noting that Covid continued to disrupt lives and supply chains and test the resilience of open societies, he said India has adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic. “We have made the highest ever allocation to our annual healthcare budget,” he added.
The PM pointed out that India’s vaccination programme was the largest in the world. ”We have fully vaccinated almost 90 per cent of the adult population, and more than 50 million children. India manufactures four WHO approved vaccines and has the capacity to produce five billion doses this year,” he said.
The PM also told the global leaders that India supplied over 200 million doses to 98 countries, bilaterally and through COVAX. India has developed low-cost COVID mitigation technologies for testing, treating and data management. “We have offered these capabilities to other countries.”
He said India’s Genomics Consortium has contributed significantly to the global database on the virus. ”I am happy to share that we will extend this network to countries in our neighbourhood,” he added.
He said India also extensively used its traditional medicines to supplement the fight against Covid and to boost immunity, saving countless lives. ”Last month, we laid the foundation of ”WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine” in India, with an aim to make this age-old knowledge available to the World,” he said.