India — The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has once again praised India’s efforts in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Ghebreyesus also commended Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending Covid-19 vaccines to more than 60 countries, hoping that other nations will also follow India’s example.
“Thanks India and Prime Minister @narendramodi for supporting #VaccinEquity. Your commitment to #COVAX and sharing #COVID19 vaccine doses is helping 60+countries start vaccinating their #healthworkers and other priority groups. I hope other countries will follow your example,” the WHO chief tweeted late on Thursday night.
This is not the first time that Ghebreyesus has praised India. He had tweeted in January and in September last year after PM Modi’s address at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) acknowledging India’s contribution towards fighting the pandemic.
“Thank You, #India and Prime Minister @narendramodi for your continued support to the global #COVID19 response. Only if we #ACTogether, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods,” Ghebreyesus said in his tweet in January.
“Thank you for your commitment to solidarity, Prime Minister @narendramodi. Only together, by mobilizing our force and resources jointly for the common good, can we end the #COVID19 pandemic,” the WHO chief had tweeted last September.
India is supplying Covid-19 vaccines to various countries, including those in its neighbourhood, under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme. Oxford University-AstraZeneca’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech International Limited’s Covaxin have been granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) in India. The world’s largest drive against the pandemic began in the country on January 16, with the second phase scheduled to begin on March 1.
Covax or Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines. The programme is led by the vaccine alliance GAVI, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in partnership with Unicef, vaccine manufacturers and the World Bank, among others. As of July 2020, 15 countries, comprising 60% of the global population, were members of Covax.