- G20 Health ministers held a virtual meeting to coordinate COVID-19 efforts
- The Ministers stressed the need to improve the global healthcare systems
- Health Minister Dr Vardhan discussed India’s efforts to contain the virus
New Delhi: The G20 health ministers acknowledged that the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted systemic weaknesses in healthcare systems and vulnerabilities in the global community’s ability to prevent and respond to pandemic threats. The ministers held a virtual meeting on Sunday to further coordinate efforts in combatting COVID-19. During the meeting, the ministers addressed the need to improve the effectiveness of global health systems by sharing knowledge and closing the gap in response capabilities and readiness. Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan was also a part of the meeting.
G20 Ministers emphasised that people’s health and well-being are at the heart of all decisions taken to protect lives, tackle illness, strengthen global health security, and alleviate the socio-economic impacts resulting from COVID-19, read an official statement following the Health ministers meeting.
Coronavirus which first emerged in China in late December has spread to the whole world. So far it has killed over 1.9 lakh people and infected over 2 million people.
Health Ministers recognised that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted systemic weaknesses in health systems. It also has shown vulnerabilities in the global community’s ability to prevent and respond to pandemic threats. Ministers addressed the need to improve the effectiveness of global health systems by sharing knowledge and closing the gap in response capabilities and readiness, it added.
The meeting also addressed necessary actions to improve pandemic preparedness, the importance of utilising digital solutions in current and future pandemics, the emphasis on patient safety and the importance of improving value in health systems as well as antimicrobial resistance. During the meeting, Harsh Vardhan highlights the effectiveness of imposing lockdown in India, saying “our case doubling rate which was about 3.4 days on the 17th of March, dropped to 4.4 days by the 25th of March, and is currently about 7.2 days.”
Speaking at the meeting, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan emphasised on the proactive and pre-emptive strategy of India to contain the spread of COVID-19 that includes building exclusive infrastructure for management of coronavirus patients to avoid their intermingling.
Taking to Twitter Dr. Vardhan wrote,
At the G20 virtual meeting, I spoke about our strategy to contain #COVID19 that includes building exclusive infrastructure for management of #coronavirus patients to avoid their intermingling. I also spoke about how we have set up 3 types of dedicated COVID management Centres.
He added that during the meeting he also highlighted that India has began surveillance of flights coming from COVID-19 affected countries before our country reported the first COVID-19 positive case.
Talking at the #G20 Health Ministers meet about India’s strategic response to #Covid_19, I said that we started surveillance of flights coming in from #COVID19 affected countries 12 days before we had the first case in India, which was on Jan 30th, 2020, he wrote in another tweet.
He also added that during the meeting he said that the global health crisis being witnessed globally today has created an opportunity to dive deep into the nature of what connects us all, while simultaneously providing us the collective strength and wisdom to accomplish the unthinkable.
Stressing upon the traditional Indian doctrine of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam -The world is one family’, I said that since the onset of #COVID19 pandemic, India has assumed a leadership role and assisted neighboring countries in a multitude of ways, he wrote in another tweet.
G20 is an international forum for the governments of 19 countries and the European Union (EU). The 19-member countries of G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and India.