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India at UN says production capacity will increase as new Indian vaccines stream

India has informed the United Nations that it will increase its production capacity as new Indian vaccines come on stream, emphasizing that the supply chain of raw materials should be kept open. COVID-19 Vaccines need to reach every corner of the world.

India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said on Friday that India has provided medical aid and subsequent vaccines to many countries across the world.

“We meet at a time when the Covid crisis is not near the end. However, with the introduction of vaccines, hopefully we will be able to eventually turn the corner,” he said, speaking at the UN General Assembly’s Second Committee on the General Debate of “Crisis, Resilience and Recovery on the 2030 Agenda”.

“As mentioned by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, we will restart it and work closely with other partners to end this pandemic. For this the supply chain of raw materials will have to be kept open. We will increase the production capacity as soon as new Indian vaccines come in stream,” Tirumurthy said.

A health worker administers the Kovidshield vaccine for Covid-19 during a special vaccination drive, in Hyderabad on Friday. (AP)

India will resume exporting surplus COVID-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the “Vaccine Friendship” program and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.

The government had halted the export of COVID-19 vaccines after the second wave of the pandemic hit the country in April. India has exported over 66 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries through grants, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility.

Addressing world leaders at the high-level General Assembly session last month, Modi had said India was engaged in developing and manufacturing vaccination despite limited resources.

India’s digital vaccine delivery platform CoWIN has supported its vaccine drive, Tirumurti said, adding that Modi has announced that India has introduced this CoWIN platform to the world as a global public good.

“We are bridging the digital divide by leveraging technology solutions that are low-cost, developmental and designed to empower all citizens, especially women,” he said.

Tirumurti told the General Assembly that the disruption caused by the pandemic has adversely affected the Global South.

“Many of our ambitions and goals, including the path to the Sustainable Development Goals, have been thrown out of gear,” he said.

He said the message to the world is that the international community should come together to combat the pandemic and build a resilient system that drives global recovery.

 

“International institutions have been slow to react initially, but have finally started to piece together their work in a more coordinated manner. Tirumurti said, “The Indian ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ ‘The World is One Family’ should show us the way to build better.

Emphasizing that digital technology is already a game changer, Tirumurti said its usefulness will only increase as a force multiplier during this period of construction.

“India, including its unique digital identity system, has already deployed digital technology in a people-friendly and citizen-centric manner to ensure inclusive, integrated and equitable growth and delivery of services within our country,” he said.

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