In an interesting move when Indian government is being questioned over reports of 10x deaths than revealed during the pandemic, PM Narendra Modi while speaking at the second global Covid summit on Thursday said that the World Health Organisation needs to be reformed and strengthened to “build a more resilient global health security architecture.”
From seeking reforms in World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the approval process for vaccines to highlighting India’s contribution to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, PM Modi spoke on several issues.
The PM said, “The Covid pandemic continues to disrupt lives, supply chains and tests the resilience of open societies. In India, we adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic. We have made the highest ever allocation to our annual healthcare budget. Our vaccination programme is the largest in the world… 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 also said that the World Trade Organisation’s rules – particularly those related to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – need to be more flexible.
On India’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Modi said, “In India, we adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic. We have made the highest ever allocation to our annual healthcare budget.”
This comes at a time when World Health organisation (WHO) reported that 4.7 million (47 lakh) people died in India as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic against the official tally of 4.8 lakh during the January 2020-December 2021 period.
Meanwhile, with 2,897 coronavirus infections being reported in a day, India’s tally of cases rose to 4,31,10,586, even as active cases have decreased to 19,494, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on May 10. The death toll has climbed to 5,24,157 with 54 fatalities, the data stated.