India-US partnership proving significant in fighting COVID-19
There are at least four ongoing vaccine development programmes between Indian and US firms
India is well positioned to offer a reliable alternative, with its strengths in manufacturing and innovation, and with its skilled workforce. Amid this, the US-India partnership is proving significant in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu in an opinion piece for The Washington Post writes that the India-US long standing health-care ties can help in understanding and fighting the pandemic in a better way.
Sandhu says that the India-U.S. cooperation is proving crucial to confront health challenges posed by the pandemic, including future vaccine development and distribution. He says that both the countries can prove to be helpful for each other in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are at least four ongoing vaccine development programmes between Indian and American research firms, he says. India has always helped other countries in providing them with the essential medicines. India has maintained its supply chains with 150 countries including the United States, Sandhu writes for The Washington Post.
He says that the partnership between India and the US is for the greater good of humanity with around 200 collaborations between the US National Institutes of Health network of labs and leading research agencies in India which are focused on developing cheap healthcare solutions for the people around the world.
In fact, the 2015 collaboration between the two resulted in an inexpensive vaccine ROTAVAC, a vaccine against rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhoea in children. An Indian company rolled out the inexpensive vaccine which helped several other countries in the world.
Sandhu says that the scientific research collaborations between the two countries have expanded over time. India and the US have many collaborations in fields ranging from health and energy to earth and ocean sciences, and from space to agriculture. Such collaborations have fostered innovation, empowered industry and economic growth.
India’s own efforts to combat COVID-19 can be helpful for the other countries as well. He writes, which produce more than 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines in a normal year, Sandhu says further.
India’s efforts are not just restricted to the US but the country has made several efforts to bring South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders together to initiate collaborations to combat the disease, including establishing a SAARC Emergency Response Fund.