New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday that the World Health Organisation (WHO) must be reformed and strengthened to build a more resilient global health security architecture.
Modi virtually addressed the second Global Covid Summit in the evening – at the invitation of US President Joe Biden — and said the world must build a resilient global supply chain to enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines.
“It is clear that a coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi mentioned that India laid the foundation last month of a WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine in the country with the aim to “make this age-old knowledge available to the world”.
The Prime Minister said the pandemic continued to disrupt lives, supply chains and to test the resilience of open societies. “In India, we adopted a people-centric strategy against it,” he added.
Modi told participants that India’s vaccination programme was the largest in the world. “We have fully vaccinated almost 90 percent of the adult 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.
India has also supplied over 200 million doses to 98 countries bilaterally and through ‘Covax’, the Prime Minister said, adding, “India has developed low-cost Covid mitigation technologies for testing, treating and data management. We have offered these capabilities to other countries too.”
Modi said India’s genomics consortium has contributed to the global database of the virus. “We shall extend this network to our neighbouring countries,” he said.
The Prime Minister delivered his address during the opening session of the summit on the theme “Preventing Pandemic Fatigue and Prioritising Preparedness”.
The aim of the summit was to find new responses to the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.