PM Narendra Modi also called for reforming the World Health Organisation

Noting that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt lives and test the resilience of open societies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India had adopted a people-centric strategy to combat it.

In his opening remarks at the Opening Session of Second Global COVID Virtual Summit, Prime Minister Modi also highlighted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient health security architecture.

The virtual Summit was hosted by US President Joe Biden. PM Modi had also participated in the first Global COVID virtual Summit hosted by President Biden on September 22, 2021.

PM Modi pointed out that India has the largest Covid-19 vaccination program in the world. Nearly 90% of the adults in India and more than 50 million children have already been fully-vaccinated, he said.

India manufactures four WHO approved vaccines and has the capacity to produce five billion doses this year.

"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," PM Modi pointed out.

Prime Minister Modi also spoke about the use of traditional medicines during Covid-19.

"In India, we extensively used our traditional medicines to supplement our 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," PM Modi said.

Coordinated global response needed

Pointing out that a coordinated global response was required to combat future health emergencies, PM Modi said, "We must build a resilient global supply chain and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines".

WTO rules, particularly TRIPS need to be more flexible, he said.

"WHO must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture. We also call for stream-lining WHO's approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep supply chains stable and predictable," Prime Minister Modi said.

As a responsible member of the global community, India was ready to play a key role in these efforts, he added.

Other participants at the Summit were co-hosts of the event - 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 also participated.

It is worth noting that India is playing a key role in ongoing global efforts to combat the pandemic by supplying safe and affordable vaccines, medicines, development of low cost indigenous technologies to test and treat, genomic surveillance, and capacity building for health care workers.

India is also proactively engaged in multilateral fora with the objective of strengthening and reforming the global health security architecture with WHO at its centre.
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