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India “pharmacy of the world” during COVID-19 crises: Vladimir Norov

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India is playing the role as the “pharmacy of the world” during the COVID-19 pandemic with its vast experience and deep knowledge in medicine, setting the tone for many regional and global initiatives, confirms Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary-General Vladimir Norov.

India has so far supplied medicines to 133 countries in the fight against COVID-19, which shows India’s generosity, despite the fact that the country’s government has taken urgent measures to prevent and treat the disease on a national scale, Norov told in an interview.

“India plays the role of the ‘pharmacy of the world’ and in terms of a pandemic it is crucial in a global context,” Norov said.

Beijing-headquartered SCO is an eight-member economic and security bloc. India and Pakistan were admitted into the grouping in 2017. Its founding members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Norov said that taking into account India’s commitment to international cooperation and solidarity, as well as its positive contribution to supporting the world’s most important institutions of cooperation, he gives it a priority in efforts to reach a consensus on the central role of the UN and the World health Organization (WHO).

He said that India has also played an active role in providing assistance to many countries, including the SCO member states, in the supply of medicines and essential drugs.

With India’s accession into the SCO as a full member, new opportunities for further development and deepening of full-scale cooperation have opened up, the Secretary-General of the grouping said.

“India’s policy and practice in the international arena in the context of the coronavirus pandemic have fully proved the correctness of the course outlined by PM Modi at the Bishkek Summit in 2019 – the priority of cooperation in the field of health,” he said.

Norov also made a special mention of Modi’s proposals to evolve a common vision for strengthening healthy cooperation in the region.

“At the last SCO Summit, Modi made a number of proposals to activate key areas of interaction. He noted that there should be a common vision of strengthening healthy cooperation in our region.

India has far-reaching broad plans to increase the role and authority of the SCO in the international arena, Norov added.

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