New York [US], December 15 (ANI): India emerged as a net provider of health security and successfully shouldered its responsibility as the pharmacy of the world, said Vikas Swarup, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West) at the UNGA Special Session on COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Speaking virtually at the 31st Special Session of the UN General Assembly in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Swarup said, "Within two months of the pandemic, we expanded our diagnostic facility from one major facility for pan-India testing to more than 2,000 today. From having almost no domestic manufacting of PPE kits, we have become the second-largest manufacturer. More than 17,000 dedicated COVID facilities were set up with 1.6 million isolation beds. Digital tools such as the Aarogya Setu App were developed and are being effectively used for extensive contact tracing."
On India's role to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the top official said that India has emerged as a net provider of health security and successfully shouldered its responsibility as the pharmacy of the world, sending consignments of medicines and medical supplies to almost 150 partner countries.
He further said that India's "timely, graded and pro-active" response to the COVID-19 pandemic and calculated measures were designed to protect the country's huge population and ensure that minimal damage is caused to the economy.
" The government has also been doing its best to ensure that the economy and the livelihoods of people are not adversely hampered. We announced a massive USD 266 billion stimulus package, amounting to almost 10 per cent of our gross domestic product, directed at helping low-income groups, marginal farmers, small businesses, migrants and those in the informal sector. To ensure food security, the world's largest food transfer programme was initiated to give extra rations to 800 million people," Swarup said.
Emphasising that the ongoing crisis has laid bare the gap that exists in global cooperation and governance structures of multilateral organisations, he said: "It is important that we make reformed multilateralism our guiding principle."
The MEA Secretary reiterated that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in fighting this crisis.
"India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capabilities for delivery of the vaccine," he added. (ANI)