Observing that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the existing international system’s limitations, India’s envoy in the US has said that the world after COVID-19 needs a template of globalisation based on fairness, equality and humanity.
Economic growth and human welfare need to go hand in hand and there is a need to ensure equitable, affordable and timely access to health products and technologies for all, India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said in a virtual interaction with The Asia Group hosted by former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma on Monday.
“The current pandemic shows the limitations of the existing international system. In the post-COVID world, we need a template of globalisation based on fairness, equality and humanity,” Mr Sandhu said.
Indian Pharma companies are global leaders in producing affordable low cost medicines and vaccines, he said, adding that India is a reliable partner for providing affordable medicines to the US.
“Our long-standing and robust partnership with the US in the area of health and scientific research has further deepened during the time of pandemic,” he said.
Similarly, India has been working with the US private sector in vaccine development. Serum Institute of India has collaborated with Codagenix Inc – a New York based clinical-stage Biotechnology Company – to rapidly co-develop a live-attenuated vaccine against the emergent coronavirus, Mr Sandhu said.
Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad has collaborated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the vaccine company FluGen to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 called CoroFlu, he said. Mr Sandhu said that the containment of the virus and economic recovery will require a strong international cooperation to complement the national policy efforts.
India is also working with its international partners, including its neighbours, to combat the pandemic. It has delivered medical supplies and assistance to over 123 partner countries, he said.
“We have taken the lead in the SAARC region through an Emergency Relief corpus with an initial seed fund of USD 10 million. Our Rapid Response Medical Teams have been deployed in the Maldives, Kuwait. Our health experts are sharing best practices through online training for our neighbours and are active in global efforts to develop remedies and vaccines,” the Indian diplomat said.
Noting that much has changed in the last few weeks, Sandhu said that the world looks a completely different place as nation after nation has taken shelter at home to stop the relentless march of the invisible enemy. Understandably, each country has erected its line of defence with the aim to minimise the loss of life.
“The global health crisis has brought in its wake an economic crisis of a scale that has not been seen in a long time.
“Grappling with these twin crises, governments today face an impossible choice between public health and economy. We will need a delicate balancing act. We need to revitalise our economies as well as enhance resilience, scalability and sustainability of our healthcare systems,” he added.