Global COVID Meet: WHO Must Be Reformed, India Ready To Play Key Role, Says PM Modi

New Delhi: In a scathing assessment of World Health Organization’s (WHO) role in the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the UN body needs to be reformed and strengthened to “build a more resilient global health security architecture.”

Speaking at the second global COVID summit, Modi called for streamlining of WHO’s approval process for vaccines and therapeutics to keep supply chains stable.

“It is clear that a coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies. We must build a resilient global supply chain and ensure equitable access to vaccines and medicine,” Modi stated.

“As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts,” the PM added.

Modi opined that World Trade Organization’s rules – especially those related to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) – should be more flexible.

Pointing out that India adopted a “people-centric strategy” to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi said that the government has made the highest-ever allocation to the annual healthcare budget.

“Our vaccination programme is the largest in the world… We have fully vaccinated almost 90 per cent of the adult population, and more than 50 million children. India manufactures four WHO approved vaccines and has the capacity to produce five billion doses this year,: Modi said.

He highlighted the use of traditional medicines in India.

“In India, we extensively used our traditional medicines to supplement our fight against Covid-19 and to boost immunity, saving countless lives. Last month, we laid the foundation of ‘WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine’ in India, with an aim to make this age-old knowledge available to the world,” the PM stated.

Here’s the full speech, tweeted by the PM:

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