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‘Flexible’ lockdown helped contain mortality: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses centenary convocation of University of Mysore via video conferencing, in New Delhi on October 19, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

India was one of the first countries to adopt a “flexible” lockdown approach and thereby managed to keep death rates from COVID-19 relatively low, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the launch of the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting, organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The three-day programme aims to bring together policy makers and scientific leaders, calling for scientific collaboration in solving global health problems, with emphasis on coronavirus (COVID-19) and will feature leaders’ talks, panel discussions and virtual informal conversations on various topics.

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Around 1,600 people from 40 countries are expected to participate in this meeting.

“India is now at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine development. We are working on putting a well established vaccine delivery system in place. This digitised network with a digital health ID will be used for securing the health of our citizens,” Mr Modi said in his address as the key note speaker.

Also read: Coronavirus | Vaccine supplies likely from early 2021: Health Secretary

“India’s size, scale and diversity has made the global community curious. Thanks to a people-powered approach we have kept our death rates low. We are seeing a per day decline in growth of cases and we have a high recovery rate of 88% and this was because we adopted a flexible lockdown. We were among the first to encourage use of masks and rapid antigen tests,” the Prime Minister said.

India’s vaccine delivery system would be used to ensure immunisation of citizens. “We are known for our capability of making low cost vaccines,” Mr Modi said and added, “We want to help other nations enhance their capabilities in vaccine manufacturing and immunisation.”

Also read: Coronavirus | Vaccine shot ‘painless’, say Covishield trial volunteers

India’s experience and research talent would put it at the centre of global healthcare research.

Along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, co-hosts of the meeting include the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, the Indian Council of Medical Research and NITI Aayog.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 2:38:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/flexible-lockdown-helped-contain-mortality-pm/article32895005.ece

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