Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised that more vaccines against the novel coronavirus produced in his country would soon be made available in order to help the world fight the pandemic.
Earlier in January, India began shipping the free-of-charge domestically-manufactured Covieshield vaccine, developed jointly by UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, to neighbouring countries. Apart from that, the country is also distributing the Covaxin vaccine, which is developed by Indian biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech.
"So far, only two made-in-India coronavirus vaccines have been introduced to the world. In the near future many more such vaccines will be made available from India. These vaccines will help us in assisting countries across the world faster and on a much bigger scale", Modi said in his special address to the Davos Agenda virtual event as part of the World Economic Forum.
The prime minister also recalled that at the beginning of the outbreak, several experts and organisations made predictions that India would be most affected by the pandemic, with hundreds of millions of Indians being infected with the virus.
"Looking at the condition of countries with better health infrastructure, the world was right in worrying about us. India, however, took a proactive public participation approach and developed a COVID-specific health infrastructure and trained its resources to fight COVID", the official said, adding that the country also was using technology for testing and tracking the spread of the virus.
According to the prime minister, India, which hosts 19 percent of the world population, not only fulfills its need for personal protective equipment but also exports the necessary equipment and vaccines to help other countries.
In addition, India has already vaccinated over 2 million health workers and will meet the target of vaccinating 300 million senior citizens and those with co-morbidities in the next few months, Modi said.
"India's upcoming vaccines will help other countries at a swifter pace to fight the pandemic", the official added.
Commenting on the economic situation in the country, the prime minister said that it would change in the post-COVID era, as India continued its economic activities during the pandemic, providing employment.
Modi also noted that the country was launching a new initiative to provide a unique health ID to 1.3 billion citizens for easy access to health care.