Global Covid summit: PM Modi calls for flexibility in TRIPS for equitable vaccine distribution
While addressing the second Global Covid summit virtually, the PM said: “We must build a resilient global supply chain and enable equitable access to vaccines and medicines. WTO rules, particularly TRIPS, need to be more flexible."
PM Modi also called for streamlining WHO's approval process for vaccines and therapeutics, to keep the supply chain stable and predictable. "As a responsible member of the global community, India is ready to play a key role in these efforts."
The prime minister highlighted that India adopted a people-centric strategy against the pandemic.
"We made the highest ever allocation for our annual healthcare budget. Our vaccination program is the largest in the world. We have fully vaccinated almost 90% of the elderly population and more than 50 million children," he said.
PM also noted how India's genomics consortium has contributed significantly for the global database on the virus. "I am happy to share that we will extend this network to countries in our neighbourhood."
He also recalled how India last month laid the foundation of the WHO Centre for Traditional Medicine in India to make this age-old knowledge available to the world. "It is clear that a coordinated global response is required to combat future health emergencies."
India on TRIPS
TRIPS refers to Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. India, along with South Africa, has been requesting to waive certain provisions of it for the prevention, containment and treatment of Covid-19.
Earlier this month, the TRIPS Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held discussions on a proposal floated by India, South Africa, the US and the EU to waive certain intellectual property rights like patents to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WTO members discussed the outcome document that has recently emerged from the informal process conducted with the Quad (the European Union, India, South Africa and the United States).