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MEA to help expert group connect Indian firms with Covid-19 vaccine options

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 21, 2020

WMCC on India-China border affairs acknowledge the need to maintain communication through diplomatic, military channels for complete disengagement

The Ministry of External Affairs has said it will provide inputs and support to the recently set up National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 to help Indian companies that are interested in any candidate vaccines developed worldwide get connected.

In a media briefing on Thursday, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava also said that India and China had acknowledged the need to maintain close communication through diplomatic and military channels so as to ensure complete disengagement and that India-Bangladesh discussed completion of development projects during the Foreign Secretary’s recent Bangladesh visit.

Replying to a question on India’s proposed action on Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine launched recently, the Spokesperson said that all vaccine-related matters were being handled by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19. “Through the inputs and support of MEA, this expert group will help to connect Indian companies that are interested in any candidate vaccines, and facilitate the process of ensuring that the relevant testing data is made available to our regulatory agencies,” Srivastava said.

“The regulator can then decide (once relevant testing data is made available) on the nature of trials that may be needed before a decision can be taken on the use of any candidate vaccine in India,” he added.

The purpose of the expert group is to keep India in the forefront of any ongoing effort worldwide to innovate, prepare, produce and launch candidate vaccines to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, for India and for the world, Srivastava said.

Border issue

On the 18th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) on Thursday, Srivastava said that the two sides re-affirmed that in accordance with the agreements reached between the two Foreign Ministers and the two Special Representatives (SRs), they will continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector.

Bangladesh projects

Elaborating on Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit to Bangladesh on August 18-19, 2020, where he also called on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, Srivastava said India’s developmental assistance in Bangladesh, as also the projects in the area of connectivity and power, were discussed.

“Several of these projects, including the Rampal Maitree Power Plant, India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, and rail links between Akhaura-Agartala and Chilahati-Haldibari and Khulna-Mongla rail line are expected to get completed next year,” he said.

It was proposed that the next meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission at the level of the Foreign Ministers should be convened shortly to review the entire gamut of bilateral relationship including the projects. It was also proposed that a high level monitoring mechanism should be set up to regularly review the progress of the ongoing projects.

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Published on August 21, 2020
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