The Indian pharmaceutical industry which is racing against the time to produce vaccines against coronavirus infection has earned backing from one of the most influential voices in the field of philanthropy and businesses.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has placed his confidence in the Indian pharmaceutical companies to produce Covid-19 vaccines for the whole world, not just for India. Gates spoke highly of the capacity of the Indian pharma industry and said that India is the manufacturing hub of vaccines as more vaccines have been manufactured in India than in the rest of the world. He also pointed out the role of Serum Institute for being the largest supplier of vaccines for the healthcare systems across the world as well as Bio E and Bharat Biotech for their efforts in developing coronavirus vaccines.
A lot of “very important things have been done” in India and its pharma industry is doing work “to help make the coronavirus vaccine building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases”, said the Co-Chair and Trustee of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He further said, “But (there are) also Bio E, Bharat (Biotech), many others. They are doing work to help make the coronavirus vaccine, building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases.”
Stating that India joined Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is a group working on a global basis to build vaccines platforms, Gates said, “I am excited that the pharmaceutical industry there will be able to produce not just for India but also for the entire world. (This is) What we need to reduce the deaths and make sure we are immune, which is how we end the epidemic.”
Gates said Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also a “partner with the government, particularly with the department of biotechnology, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the office of the principal scientific advisor provide advice and help about getting these tools going”.
In the documentary, the philanthropist emphasized on the Gates foundation’s role. He claimed that it has “worked for the Indian government on health issues like introducing new vaccines over the last decade; and so when COVID-19 came along, we stepped in and said you know where are the gaps, we have been funding work on detection and isolation.”
“We have been particularly active in UP and Bihar where we have done health delivery in the past,” he further added.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research commented on India’s potential as the “pharmacy of the world”. He claimed that around 60% of drugs utilised in US are of Indian origin.
“Any vaccine candidate which is being produced or developed in any part of the world will ultimately have to be scaled up by India or by China. Because these two countries are major producers of vaccines in the world and India supplies 60 percent of vaccines to the world that all developed nations are aware of it. And therefore, they are in communication with India for the vaccine distribution ultimately, if it is developed to the whole world,” Bhargava said.
Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine nothing but data steal
Russian state intelligence is hacking international research centers that are racing to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, the U.K., U.S., and Canadian governments said. It is unclear whether research facilities have been damaged or if the vaccine programs have been set back as a result of the hacks but officials warned that the cyberattacks are ongoing.
In a dramatic statement on Thursday, Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said vaccine and therapeutic sectors in multiple countries have been targeted by a group known as APT29, which it said is “almost certainly” part of the Russian state intelligence. Security agencies in the U.S. and Canada later issued their own statements backing up the findings.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian intelligence services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.”While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behaviour, the U.K. and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.”
The intelligence bombshell came at a delicate time in geopolitics with a combative U.S. election looming in November and the pandemic plunging the world economy into recession. Coronavirus has launched a global race for a vaccine, in which researchers in the U.K. have made progress recently.
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