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WHO must be reformed, PM Modi says at Global Summit on Covid; hails India’s vaccine programme

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, May 13, 2022: WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday at the second global virtual summit on Coronavirus hosted by US President Joe Biden. “In India, we adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic," he said adding 90 per cent of the country’s population has been vaccinated against the virus.


PM Modi

PM Modi said the Covid pandemic continues to disrupt lives, supply chains, and tests the resilience of open societies. Hailing India’s national vaccination program, he said the government has made the highest-ever allocation to its annual healthcare budget. “Our vaccination program is the largest in the world. We have fully vaccinated almost 90% of the alien population and more than 50 million children. India manufactures four WHO-approved vaccines and has the capacity to produce 5 billion doses this year," he said.

Lauding India’s efforts in supplying Covid-19 vaccines and support capabilities across the globe, Modi said, “We 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."

“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 said.

PM Modi called for WHO to be reformed in order to build a more resilient global health security architecture. “We must build a resilient global supply chain and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines. WTO rules need to be more flexible. WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture," he said.

Modi also mentioned the foundation stone for the WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine in India was laid down last month. He said the Centre was established with an aim to make “this age-old knowledge available to the world. It is clear that a coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies."

He also called for streamlining of WHO’s vaccine approval process and said WTO rules, particularly TRIPS need to be more flexible. “We also call for streamlining WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep the supply chain stable and predictable. As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts," he said.

Modi participated in the first global virtual summit on Covid hosted by Biden on September 22 last year.

The summit is also bing attended by heads of state/government of Belize in its capacity as Chair of CARICOM, Senegal as Chair of African Union, Indonesia as President of G20 and Germany as President of G7 respectively. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director General of World Health Organization and other dignitaries are also participating. The Caribbean Community is an intergovernmental organisation of 15 member states in the Caribbean region having the primary objective to promote economic integration and cooperation among the members.

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