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COVID-19 Pandemic: 2020 Will Mark ‘Inflection Point’ In India-UK Healthcare Collaboration, Says Indian Diplomat

According to outgoing Consul General of India in Birmingham Dr Aman Puri, UK-India healthcare collaboration will witness a turning point in 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic: 2020 Will Mark 'Inflection Point' In India-UK Healthcare Collaboration, Says Indian Diplomat
  • Pandemic will throw up opportunities in crisis within India-UK: Diplomat
  • India and EU are natural partners: PM Modi
  • India has played a significant role in the fight against COVID-19: EU

London: The year 2020 will witness an “inflection point” in the UK-India healthcare collaboration as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought collaboration in medicine to the centre stage, outgoing Consul General of India in Birmingham Dr Aman Puri has said. In an interview to PTI on the eve of his departure from the West Midlands region of England, Puri reflected on the recently-launched West Midlands India Partnership (WMIP) to boost India-UK investment flows and flagged the healthcare sector as a particular focus of bilateral ties amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Also Read: COVID-19 Fatality Rate Is 2.6 Per Cent And Rapidly Coming Down: Health Ministry

Dr Puri, who organised annual India-UK healthcare conferences during his three-year tenure, resulting in several MoUs between key stakeholders said,

My sense is that 2020 will witness an inflection point in the UK-India healthcare collaboration. COVID-19 has brought healthcare centerstage, and the need for collaborations has been realised by all stakeholders more than ever before.

Dr Puri has been the Consul General of India in Birmingham since 2017 and leaves the UK on Wednesday at the end of a three-year tenure to take charge as India’s Consul General in Dubai.

Today, as the world is facing an unprecedented crisis due to the pandemic, the partnership between health systems assumes even greater significance. The Prime Minister of India, while announcing India’s commitment of USD 15 million to the UK-led Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), said the pandemic, in some ways, exposed the limitations of global cooperation and that for the first time in recent history, humankind faces a clear common enemy. Apart from this, there have been several collaborative efforts between British and the Indian healthcare systems, both in the public and the private sectors, in the areas of clinical research, vaccine development and exchange of best practices to manage COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

The 44-year-old diplomat, who has previously been based in Brussels during his tenure in the European Union, believes Britain’s exit from the EU and the pandemic-induced economic crisis will also throw up some opportunities within the India-UK sphere.

Also Read: India ‘Pharmacy Of The World’, On Fast-Track Mode To Develop COVID-19 Vaccine: Indian Council of Medical Research

As a result of the economic crisis due to the pandemic, there is going to be a spike in distressed assets in both economies. Identifying complementarities between the UK and India, catalysing mergers and acquisitions will be a significant measure required to protect jobs, improve sustainability of business and promote long-term value creation, he said.

India Has Played Significant Role In Combating COVID-19 Pandemic: European Union

During the 15th India-EU virtual summit on Wednesday, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that India has played a significant role in the fight against COVID-19, saying it had also contributed to international efforts to combat the pandemic. Mr. Michel said,

I would like to thank India for the cooperation your country has shown with the EU. I would like to pay tribute to your role nationally and internationally, multilaterally in combating COVID19 pandemic.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India and EU are natural partners. He also said that long-term challenges like climate change are also a priority for both India and the EU.

Also Read: COVID-19 Recovered Cases Exceed Active Cases By Over 2.5 Lakh: Health Ministry

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.

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