Interacting with ambassadors of Latin American and Caribbean nations, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said India is willing to supply Covishield and Covaxin to these countries.
Explaining India’s strategy to curb COVID-19, he spoke on the six vaccines approved in the country, of which two are indigenously developed.
Near 1.2 billion doses have been administered with 82 per cent of Indians receiving at least one dose of vaccine and 44 per cent of Indians being fully vaccinated, according to a Health Ministry statement.
“India has been able to fight COVID-19 under a ‘whole of government’ approach where provincial and local governance provided a fillip to the efforts of the Government of India,” Mandaviya said.
“India is driven by the philosophy of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ which has inspired us to gift COVID-19 vaccines, Hydroxychloroquine and other medical necessities to all our friends. Further, India is willing to supply Covishield and Covaxin to all the countries present,” Mandaviya told the ambassadors.
He thanked them for easing people-to-people contact by recognising vaccination in India. Vaccination in India is recognised by 110 countries at present, he said.
“Mutual recognition of vaccinations increases ease of travel for tourism and business thereby boosting economic recovery the world so desperately needs,” the minister said.
On possible areas of convergence, Mandaviya noted that more than 70 million teleconsultations have been recorded in eSanjeevani- India’s flagship telemedicine portal.
With its expertise in Information Technology, India could quickly deploy the CoWIN platform for its vaccination programme. India has shared the technology with partner nations and will help all nations looking to scale up their vaccination, he said.
“Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s healthcare is witnessing a revolutionary transformation which can be adopted by her friends,” the Union Health Minister said.
Indian pharma companies produce safe affordable efficacious drugs for nearly all of these countries and directed their attention to India’s Jan Aushadhi Kendras. They sell the cheapest alternative of generic drugs to potential beneficiaries in India, the Health Ministry’s statement said.
The possibility of adoption of this practice for providing access to quality and affordable medicines in these nations with similar socio-economic conditions was touched upon during the interaction.
The Union Minister also exhorted the assembled nations to study the possibility of an exchange programme for health professionals. Besides skill upgradation and exposure to specialisations of health in the American continent for Indians, students of these countries would have high-quality world-class medical practices in India in the fields of cardiology, oncology, nephrology, neurology and ophthalmology.
He also highlighted possible areas of co-operation in medical tourism, according to the statement. About medical tourism, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan observed that NAAC Board carries out accreditation of hospitals in India and cooperation with other accreditation bodies of these countries would set common standards and boost the rising sector.
S Aparna, Union Secretary, Pharma, directed the attention of the ambassadors to the fact that India with more than 700 production sites was the largest producer of pharmaceutical formulations, next only to the US. She also spoke on India’s incentive to greenfield pharma initiatives and the scope for investment in this sector, the statement added.