A positive development is taking shape in bilateral cooperation on medical sector.And India is working with Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa through the BRICS program. 

A joint call was launched covering the areas of diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics, repurposing of drugs, intervention of artificial intelligence, high-performance computing for COVID-19 across multiple platforms ranging from disease surveillance to diagnosis. 

BRICS countries, which cover more than 25 percent of the world territory with more than 40 percent of the world population, would play a vital role against COVID-19.

As it is,India is one of the few countries in the world which has a promising pipeline of vaccine candidates of different platforms in various stages of clinical development. Under the Partnerships for Advancing Clinical Trials (PACT) initiative, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) partnered closely with the Ministry of External Affairs for strengthening clinical trial capacities in neighboring countries. 

Two training series with >2400 participants across 20 sessions from 14 nations (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Gambia, Kenya, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepa, Oman, Somalia, Sri Lanka Vietnam and USA), have been held. As a global vaccine manufacturing hub, India has made available vaccines to the other nations. Current data from the Ministry of External Affairs indicate that till date, nearly 19.86 million doses of Made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed globally through the COVAX facility.

There has also been a major effort towards indigenous diagnostic development. DBT supported indigenous manufacturing facility – Andhra Med Tech Zone (AMTZ), has enabled the achievement of self-reliance in the area of RT-PCR diagnostic kits for COVID-19, thus reducing import dependency. 

Further, more than 200 Indian Manufacturers have registered under National Biomedical Resource Indigenization Consortium (NBRIC), a ‘Make in India’ initiative for facilitating indigenous manufacturing of major molecular biology components/reagents. The Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium (INSACOG), an Inter-ministerial consortium of 28 Laboratories, has been launched, to ascertain the status of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the country.

These efforts, mentioned above, have positioned India on par with the globally developed nations in combating the pandemic. Intervention of Yoga and Meditation on mental health of students, healthcare workers and senior citizens during the pandemic and Yoga-based rehabilitation program for COVID-19 patients etc. are some of the unique engagements of India in comparison to other countries in tackling the pandemic.

This information was given by the Minister of Science & Technology Dr.Jitendra Singh in a written reply in Rajya Sabha tuesday.

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