AKIPRESS.COM - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the virtual Global Covid-19 Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden on September 22, said India is ramping up production capacity of existing vaccines and the supply chains of raw materials must be kept open, The Indian Express reported.
The summit was convened on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
PM Modi called for mutual recognition of vaccine certificates to ease international travel amid several countries adopting different sets of rules to allow foreigners to enter their territory in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented disruption. It is not yet over. Much of the world is still to be vaccinated. That is why this initiative by President Biden is timely, and welcome… We also need to focus on addressing the pandemic’s economic effects. To that end, international travel should be made easier through mutual recognition of vaccine certificates,” Modi said.
“India is now running the world’s largest vaccination campaign. Recently, we vaccinated about 25 million people on a single day. Our grassroots-level healthcare system has delivered over 800 million vaccine doses so far. Over 200 million Indians are now fully vaccinated. This has been enabled through the use of our innovative digital platform called Co-Win. In the spirit of sharing, India has made Co-Win, and many other digital solutions, available freely and open source software,” he said.
As India looks to resume export of Covid-19 vaccines to other nations, Modi said “supply chains of raw materials must be kept open”.
“As newer Indian vaccines get developed, we are also ramping up production capacity of existing vaccines. As our production increases, we will be able to resume vaccine supplies to others, too. For this, the supply chains of raw materials must be kept open. With our Quad partners, we are leveraging India’s manufacturing in producing vaccines for the India-Pacific region,” he said.
Modi assured resumption of export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ''Vaccine Maitri'' program to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.
"Earlier this year, we shared our vaccine production with 95 other countries, and with UN peacekeepers. And, like a family, the world also stood with India when we were going through a second wave. For the solidarity and support extended to India, I thank you all,” he said.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus earlier hailed India’s decision to resume Covid-19 vaccine exports as an “important development” in support of the goal to reach 40 per cent vaccination in all countries by end of the year.
Welcoming the “timely” initiative of Biden, Modi said that India has always seen humanity as one family. India's pharmaceutical industry has produced cost-effective diagnostic kits, drugs, medical devices, and PPE kits.
These, he noted, are providing affordable options to many developing countries.
"India and the South Africa have proposed a TRIPS waiver at the WTO for COVID vaccines, diagnostics and medicines. This will enable rapid scaling up of the fight against the pandemic. We also need to focus on addressing the pandemic economic effects," Modi said.
PM Modi endorsed the objectives of this Summit and President Biden's vision. He concluded by saying India stand ready to work with the world to end the pandemic.