INDIA’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

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Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi spoke on phone on 29 April with H.E. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia. The two leaders exchanged thoughts about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region and the world. The Indonesian President appreciated the facilitation provided by Government of India for supplies of pharmaceutical products to Indonesia. Prime Minister assured him that India would do its best to prevent disruption in supplies of medical products or the other commodities traded between the two countries.

The leaders discussed issues related to their citizens present in each other’s countries, and agreed that their teams would remain in touch to ensure all possible facilitation in this regard.

Prime Minister underlined the fact that Indonesia is an important maritime partner in India’s extended neighbourhood, and the strength of the bilateral relationship would help both countries in fighting the effects of the pandemic. He also conveyed greetings for the Holy Month of Ramadan to H.E. President Widodo and to the friendly people of Indonesia.

India, though being the 2nd most populous country in the world with 1.3 billion people, has reported over only 31,000 cases of which 8534 patients have recovered fully, while over 1000 people have died.

The recovery rate in India is more than 16% while the death rate is about 3%, which compares very favourably compared to the death rates in other countries – Spain 10%; USA 5%; Netherlands and France at 11% and UK and Italy at 13%. The death ratio per million in India is just over 0.3 against the global average of 17.3.

Despite the huge population and high density, the rate at which the virus is spreading in India is comparatively slower than most of the severely-hit countries, with about 9 infections in a million, whereas in countries like Italy, UK, France and USA, it took between 2-4 days to double.

India has implemented a combination of crisis management initiatives which included large scale screening of tourists; social distancing methods, instant up-gradation of health infrastructure, ramping up of production of medicines, social efforts aimed at mitigating the inevitable hardships of the vulnerable sections of its society and economic stimulus packages aimed specially at the medium and small scale sector.

More than 3000 dedicated medical institutions have been mobilized to function 24×7; created 266 testing labs, one million beds, 290,000 isolation and 55,000 ICU beds. More than 850,000 samples have been tested so far. The Indian private sector is being fully involved in the quest to make affordable local alternatives. For instance, there are now 32 Indian companies that have started work to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. Up to 40,000 extra isolation beds have been prepared by converting 2,500 railway carriages.

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India’s statistics are cause for optimism for other countries struggling to contain the disease. The world and several institutions, including the WHO, are now looking up to India to lead the fight against COVID-19.

India has been at the forefront of the international efforts to fight the pandemic. The Indian Prime Minister invited all SAARC countries for a video conference to manage the COVID-19 situation on March 15 and set out a series of measures including a commitment to provide up to US$ 10 million toward health assistance. During the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of BRICS countries on 28 April, India reaffirmed its commitment to work with BRICS countries to launch a joint effort.

The production of pharmaceutical supplies, like anti-pyretic tablets and Hydroxy-chloroquine, has been expanded to meet domestic needs and for export to other countries. The government has also urged researchers and innovators to come up with any new testing kit or reagent that can help combat the coronavirus contagion.

As on date, India has already provided medical supplies and assistance to Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Seychelles, Myanmar, China, Iran, Italy and Bhutan. Known as the Pharmacy of the World and in keeping with its reputation as a responsible provider of pharmaceutical products to the world, India has despatched commercial and aid supplies of key pharmaceutical products to the Indonesia, United States, Spain, Brazil and Israel as well as several countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Indian government is actively encouraging Indian scientists to go for vaccine trials to develop any vaccine – an immune booster or a preventive one – to arrest infections caused by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Indian scientists and several of its renowned medical research institutions such as the Indian Council for Medical Reserch; Serum Institute of India and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council are currently leading India’s efforts in this area.

Even in the face of a looming economic recession worldwide, IMF has projected India to register the highest growth rate of 1.9% in 2020 and 7.9% for fiscal year 2021.

Penulis & Fotografer: Press Rilis Terkait