India has informed the UN that it will ramp up its production capacity as new Indian vaccines come on stream, emphasising that the supply chains of raw materials must be kept open as Covid-19 vaccines need to reach every corner of the globe.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, on Friday said that India has provided medical related assistance and, subsequently, vaccines to numerous countries all over the world.

“We meet at a time when the Covid crisis is nowhere near the end. However, with the introduction of vaccines, there is hope that we will finally be able to turn the corner,” he said while speaking at the UN General Assembly General Debate of the Second Committee on ‘Crisis, Resilience and Recovery – Accelerating Progress towards the 2030 Agenda’.

“As Prime Minister Modi mentioned, we will resume this and work closely with other partners to end this pandemic. For this, the supply chains of raw materials must be kept open. We will ramp up production capacity as new Indian vaccines come on stream,” Tirumurti said.

Covid export

India will resume the export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.

The government had stopped the export of Covid-19 vaccines after the second wave of the pandemic. India has exported over 66 million vaccine doses to nearly 100 countries through grants, commercial shipments and the COVAX facility.

Also see: US senator lauds India’s decision to resume Covid-19 vaccine export

During his address to world leaders at the high-level General Assembly session last month, Modi had said that India is engaged in vaccination development and manufacturing despite limited resources.

Vaccine delivery platform

Stressing that digital technology is already a game changer, Tirumurti said its utility during this period of building back will only increase, as a force multiplier.

“India has already deployed digital technology in a people-friendly and citizen-centric manner to ensure inclusive, integrated and equitable development and delivery of services within our country, including through our unique digital identity system,” he added.

India’s digital vaccine delivery platform, CoWIN, has supported its vaccine drive, he said, adding that Modi has announced that India has offered this CoWIN platform to the world as a global public good.

“We are bridging the digital divide by leveraging technology solutions that are low cost, developmental and designed to empower all citizens, especially women,” he said.

Global recovery

Tirumurti said at the General Assembly that the disruption caused by the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Global South.

“Many of our ambitions and goals have been thrown out of gear, including the pathway to Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

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He said the message to the world is for the international community to come together to combat the pandemic and build a resilient system that will drive global recovery.

“International institutions have been slow to react initially, but have finally started to get their act together in a more coordinated manner. The Indian ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – The World is One Family’ should show us the way to build back better,” Tirumurti said.