Immense opportunities for wider India-US collaboration in health sector: Ambassador Sandhu : The Tribune India

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Immense opportunities for wider India-US collaboration in health sector: Ambassador Sandhu

US and India have been closely cooperating to develop reliable and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.

Immense opportunities for wider India-US collaboration in health sector: Ambassador Sandhu

Taranjit Singh Sandhu. File photo



PTI

Washington, March 7

The India-US co-operation has played a crucial role in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, New Delhi's envoy here has said, underlining that there are immense opportunities for wider bilateral collaboration in the health sector and also to prepare for future public health threats.

India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, in an op-ed in The Houston Chronicle newspaper said that India and the US, the two vibrant democracies, have played an especially crucial role in containing the pandemic. US institutions and Indian vaccine companies have been closely cooperating to develop reliable and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.

“Going forward, there are immense opportunities for wider India-US collaboration in the health sector to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future public health threats,” Sandhu wrote.

Further co-operation can be achieved in areas such as infectious disease modeling, prediction and forecasting, as well as building institutional capacity for the management of bio-safety, digital health and occupational health hazards.

“Guided by the ancient Indian philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — 'the world is one family' — and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'One Earth, One Health,' India is committed to working with the US and other partners in the international community to defeat this pandemic,” Sandhu wrote.

The op-ed has been widely welcomed by experts in the health sector.

“We are deeply grateful for your collaboration and commitment to global health and a US-India partnership,” Professor Peter Hotez, a top vaccine scientist said in a tweet.

“The Baylor College of Medicine in Houston collaborated with India's Biological E on the Corbevax vaccine. Created by a team of scientists led by Peter Hotez and Maria Elena Bottazzi, Corbevax is cost-effective, patent-free and has been approved in India for emergency use. The Serum Institute of India and Maryland-based firm Novavax produced Covavax (which has received WHO approval). Merck's COVID-19 drug Molnupiravir is being produced by Indian companies for up to 35 times a lower cost,” he wrote.

Houston is home to the largest medical centre, leading medical research institutions that have linkages with India, multiple companies and corporations of this region are engaged with Indian companies in different modes including sharing of technologies, manufacturing and partnering in supply chains.

India is amongst the largest producers of generic medicines globally and has the largest United States Food and Drug Administration compliant pharmaceutical plants.

India has supplied 983.068 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 94 countries and 2 United Nations entities in the form of grant, commercial export or through COVAX till December 15 since the start of Vaccine Maitri programme in January, 2021.

#taranjit singh sandhu


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