Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Monday hailed India’s vaccination programme and the role the country is playing against the Covid-19 pandemic by supplying vaccines in large numbers across the world.
India has been at the forefront in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and “really stands out” in terms of its vaccine policy, the IMF’s Chief Economist said.
“I also want to mention that India really stands out in terms of its vaccine policy. If you look at where exactly is one manufacturing hub for vaccines in the world – that will be India,” Gopinath said.
Gopinath made the comments in her keynote address at the Inaugural Dr Hansa Mehta Lecture organized on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The lecture, named in the memory of the pioneering Indian reformer and educator, was organized virtually by India’s Permanent Mission to the UN and The United Nations Academic Impact.
Gopinath appreciated India’s effort with its coronavirus vaccine policies when asked by the permanent representative of UAE to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh, about the country’s efforts against the health crisis and what role it can play in global economic recovery.
She said that India was hit hard by the pandemic, its growth went negative in 2020 “but we do see the recovery coming back as the country reopened” and thus with that IMF projected the growth of 11.5 per cent in 2021 for the country.
Commenting on the vaccination production capacity of India, Gopinath said, “You have the Serum Institute which produces the most number of vaccines on a regular year and because of this India has been at the forefront of fighting this pandemic.”
She emphasized on how the country is also part of the COVAX mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines to lower income countries.
“It has been providing free vaccines to several of its neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. It also has its commercial arrangements. It also is even with COVAX,” India’s Serum Institute is making a lot of those vaccine doses that are used for the delivery of vaccines across the world through the COVAX initiative, Gopinath added.
“It’s been playing a very important role in helping the world in this crisis through its vaccination policies,” the IMF chief economist concluded.