Narendra Modi
File image of Bill Gates and Narendra Modi

US philanthropist Bill Gates on Friday said India has a key role in combating coronavirus pandemic globally.

During an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via videoconferencing, the co-founder of technological giant Microsoft discussed the global response to COVID-19, and the importance of global coordination in scientific innovation and research to combat the pandemic.

Speaking about his interaction with Modi, Gates tweeted,

‘Thank you for the conversation and partnership, @narendramodi. Combating the pandemic requires global collaboration. India’s role is key as the world works to minimize social and economic impact, and pave the way to vaccine, testing, and treatment access for all.’

During the discussion, Modi underlined the conscious approach that India has adopted in its fight against the health crisis.

He explained how this people-centric bottom-up approach has helped win acceptability for physical distancing, respect for front-line workers, wearing of masks, maintaining proper hygiene, and respecting lockdown provisions.

Modiappreciated the health related work being done by the Gates Foundation not only in India but also in many other parts of the world, including for coordinating global response to COVID-19.

Some of the ideas that the two dignitaries explored included drawing upon India’s unique model of last-mile health service delivery in rural areas, dissemination of the effective contact-tracing mobile app developed by Government of India, and above all by leveraging India’s massive pharmaceutical capacity to scale-up the production of vaccines and therapeutics upon their discovery.

Modi also suggested that the Gates Foundation could take the lead in analysing the necessary changes in lifestyles, economic organization, social behaviour, modes of disseminating education and healthcare that would emerge in the post-COVID world and the associated technological challenges that would need to be addressed.

Hailing his discussion with Gates, Modi tweeted,”Had an extensive interaction with @BillGates. We discussed issues ranging from India’s efforts to fight coronavirus, work of the @gatesfoundation in battling COVID-19, role of technology, innovation and producing a vaccine to cure the pandemic.”

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