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Modi reiterates commitment to vaccine friendship in phone call with Biden


During a phone call with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday reiterated New Delhis commitment to containing the Covid-19 pandemic globally through vaccine friendship.

The Indian prime minister informed the US president about India's initiative at the World Trade Organization for a relaxation in the norms of the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries.

Modi conveyed to Biden India's participation in global vaccine alliance Covax and the Quad vaccine initiatives taken by the US, India, Australia and Japan, a readout issued by the Indian PMO said.

The readout said Modi "mentioned India's commitment to contain the COVID-19 pandemic globally through vaccine maitri (under which India exported millions of doses of vaccines to other countries) and its participation in Covax and the Quad vaccine initiatives."

Modi underscored to Biden the need to ensure smooth and open supply chains of raw materials and inputs required for manufacture of vaccines, medicines and therapeutics related to Covid-19.

Biden affirmed that the United States was determined to support India's efforts by quickly deploying resources such as therapeutics, ventilators and identifying sources of raw materials to be made available for the manufacture of Covishield vaccines.

The two leaders discussed the Covid-19 situation in their respective countries, including India's ongoing efforts to contain the second wave of Covid-19 through expedited vaccination efforts, and ensuring supply of critical medicines, therapeutics and healthcare equipment.

"Modi conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the offer of assistance and support from the government of the United States of America," according to the readout.

Both leaders underlined the potential of the India-US partnership in vaccine development and supply to address the pandemic and directed their respective officials to maintain close coordination and cooperation in their efforts in this domain.

Published : April 27, 2021

By : The Daily Star/ANN