On Tuesday, the WHO representative to India, Henk Bekedem expressed appreciation for the commitment of the Indian government at a time when the world is going through a major virus outbreak, believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019.
“The commitment from the Indian government has been enormous and very impressive. It is one of the reasons why India is still doing quite well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilized,” media quoted Bekedam as saying.
Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India on #Coronavirus: The commitment from Indian govt, the Prime Minister's Office has been enormous, very impressive. It is one of the reasons why India is still doing quite well. I am very impressed that everyone has been mobilised. pic.twitter.com/RtNSMTsiag— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2020
Bekedam also had a meeting with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in New Delhi. One of the noted medical research bodies in the world, the ICMR is India’s apex organisation for formulating, coordinating and promoting biomedical researches.
After the meeting, the WHO representative said India has a “very good” research capacity and the country will continue to be part of the global medical research community.
Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India on meeting with ICMR: We have very good research capacity in India and especially at ICMR & Dept of health research. They have been able to isolate the virus, now India will continue to be part of the research community. #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/QrlVOG8AiG— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2020
Earlier this week, Jim O’Neill, the chair of British think tank Chatham House, faced criticism on social networking platforms for making a "racist” and “hateful” comment, as he "thanked God" that the coronavirus did not break out "somewhere like India", "because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have".
Since the eruption of the coronavirus, India has assisted its own nationals along with citizens from Bangladesh, Myanmar, South Africa, the US, Madagascar, and Italy.
As a goodwill gesture, the country has also extended help in terms of urgent medical aid to China.
According to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the nation currently has 125 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Three deaths in Karnataka, Delhi and the Mumbai region have also been reported.
India has enforced restrictions on public gatherings across the country, also shutting down schools, universities and other social and cultural centres, to curb the possibility of community Coronavirus infection.