India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged at the United Nations on Saturday (September 26) that his country’s vaccine production capacity would be “used to help all humanity” fight the COVID-19 crisis.
“As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today,” Modi said in a pre-recorded speech to the U.N. General Assembly. “India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis.”
Modi said India was moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials and would also help all countries enhance their cold chain and storage capacities for delivery of vaccines.
Modi said in August that India was ready to mass-produce COVID-19 vaccines when scientists gave the go-ahead.
U.N. chief Antonio Guterres has been pushing for a “people’s vaccine” that is available and affordable everywhere and expressed concern on Tuesday that some countries were “reportedly making side deals exclusively for their own populations.”
India, the world’s second most populous country after China, has recorded more than 5.8 million cases of COVID-19, second only behind the United States.
Its death toll as of this week was more than 90,000 and it has consistently reported the highest tally of daily cases anywhere in the world as a dense population and often rudimentary healthcare infrastructure hamper attempts to control the pandemic.
(Production: Angela Moore)