Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during G20 Finance and Health Ministers Meeting. (Photo/ANI)
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during G20 Finance and Health Ministers Meeting. (Photo/ANI)

Need to ensure access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines is fair and equitable: Harsh Vardhan

ANI | Updated: Sep 17, 2020 21:23 IST


New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): Access to protection should not be a factor of the ability to pay and there is a need to ensure that access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines is fair and equitable, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.
Vardhan was addressing through video conferencing joint G20 Finance and Health Ministers Meeting here.
"The current pandemic and the global crisis arising out of that highlights, more than ever, the need for national and global solidarity. We need to focus on creating effective health systems for improved pandemic preparedness. There is a need to ensure that access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines is fair and equitable. Access to protection should not be a factor of ability to pay," Union minister Vardhan said.
While all the other action plans are a response to a pandemic, a well-developed healthcare system can support even in containing the pandemic, he said.
"Flattening the curve globally will require international, multisectoral collaborative efforts to ensure that health systems across the world are able to maintain sufficient capacity to address the flux of complicated COVID-19 cases and protect the vulnerable and elderly in the world population. We all need to capitalize on existing programs such as the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), and ensure equitable global access to diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, while strengthening health systems," he said.

"Inspired by experiences of previous outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and Ebola in 2014-2015, global solidarity is a must in order to prevent further morbidity and mortality. Examples in leadership and collaborations should be celebrated as examples to follow. Open communication and transparency will be crucial in monitoring the evolution of the disease in the global effort of flattening the curve," the health minister added.
Vardhan said that India stands together with the world to re-energize the global economy at the earliest.
"India with a history of frugal and quality manufacturing will continue to play its role through our Make-In-India and Make-for the World endeavor and will support fully the development of research and digital capabilities for managing delivery," he said.
"India is committed to Universal Healthcare Coverage and in these stressful times, India stands together with the world to realize the shared mission to save lives and protect people's health, and to re-energize the global economy at the earliest," he added.
This is also a time for decisive public health leadership and for preparing for future waves and the post-COVID-19 era, he said.
"Public health leaders must look beyond borders. Only by learning from the global experience in our battle against a virus that respects no borders, can we honour the lives already lost and implement life-saving measures for current and future patients," he added.
Saudi Arabia bestowed with the Presidency of G20 grouping hosted the session. (ANI)

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