Coronavirus Pandemic

Time for world to work together and get rid of pandemic, Indian minister says

James Jose, Suneeti Ahuja Kohli/London
Filed on July 1, 2021

India is doing its bit by sharing its learnings and programmes with other countries, Piyush Goyal says at India Global Forum.

Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Railways believes that now is the time for the world to support each other, to work as one and get rid of this pandemic at the earliest.

Goyal, also India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, said that the country is doing its bit by sharing its learnings and programmes with other countries by sharing its vaccine app CoWIN with these nations free of charge.

“In this globally connected world, however they may try to insulate their countries from the rest of the world, believe me, it is going to be near impossible. That’s a choice they will have to make, that’s a decision they will have to make, about what they believe is good for their country and their economies,” Goyal said at the India Global Forum on Wednesday.

“I personally believe that it is extremely myopic of any country to believe that they are insulated, and they would remain safe even if other parts of the world do not. And I think today is not the time, even for the pharma companies to be counting their dollars and their green bucks. Today is the time for the world to support each other, to work as one family and get rid of this pandemic at the earliest,” he added.

Meanwhile, around 50 countries have shown keen interest in the CoWIN app and Goyal said India is willing to share the software without any cost.

“We are happy to share our learnings also with other countries. For example, our CoWIN app through which we have done the vaccination programme has been a remarkable success and now large parts of the world are asking us for the CoWIN app to be implemented in their countries. And we are happy to share all that we have learnt, free of charge,” revealed Goyal.

Goyal said that India has been able to cope with the pandemic better now than before.

“I think we are now able to face the pandemic much smarter, our vaccination programme is rolling out very, very rapidly. Today, we have done more vaccines than the USA, in absolute numbers, despite the fact that we are a much smaller economy,” he said.

“In terms of numbers, we have done about 340 million vaccines so far. Now, we have a large population — we are four time the size of the US, so obviously, our demand is going to be much more. But imagine, despite being a less developed country or a developing nation, we have already crossed 340 million vaccines, we are currently doing five million a day, which we hope to ramp up further in the days to come. And we are confident that we will continue to maintain our precaution and safeguards and will continue to maintain our social distancing protocols. We are also promoting double masks, we are also helping people overcome vaccine hesitancy, which is prevalent in a big way. I’m told that there’s vaccine hesitancy even in the developed world,” Goyal said.

Goyal was also speaking on the topic ‘Prosperity through Smarter Trade.’

“We are working very actively with the UK, Canada and Australia and are showing huge promise in terms of them wanting to expand the engagement with India. We have started dialogue with the EU for a free trade agreement on goods, services and investment production agreement and a geographical indicators agreement. But given the nature of the EU, with 27 odd countries, it will certainly be a much more long drawn affair. But we are keen to speed it up.

“I’m convinced that India will be playing a much greater role in the post-pandemic world in creating resilient supply chains with these countries and other countries like Japan, Korea, with whom we share strong bonds. India has done a record growth in exports in our first quarter when we had the second wave at its peak. So, from April to June, exports from India in this quarter are the highest ever possible,” he elaborated.

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