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G-7 summit: India to support call for new probe into covid origins

India will support a follow-up enquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic as called by the G7. (File Photo: Reuters)Premium
India will support a follow-up enquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic as called by the G7. (File Photo: Reuters)

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit, to be hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 12-13 June, where leaders including those from the US and Japan are to exchange views on the way forward on global recovery from the pandemic

NEW DELHI: Ahead of a G-7 meeting of developed countries that is expected to call for a new and transparent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, India has said it supports a follow-up enquiry by the World Health Organization (WHO).

News reports on Friday said G7 leaders in their summit at Cornwall in Britain will call for a new probe into the origins of the coronavirus while pledging one billion doses of vaccines for countries around the world, citing a leaked draft communiqué for the meeting.

“I think we have been very clear that we support the need for a follow-up to the WHO report on the origin of covid-19 and for further studies and we have called for understanding and cooperation of all in this regard," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters on the eve of the summit that is to start on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the Outreach Sessions of the G7 Summit, to be hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 12-13 June, where leaders including those from the US and Japan are to exchange views on the way forward on global recovery from the pandemic. Modi who was to travel to the UK for the summit called it off as cases of the covid-19 pandemic started rising in India in April-May. Besides India, the other countries participating at the G-7 meet as guest nations are Australia, South Korea and South Africa. The leaders of the G7 states – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – will gather in the British seaside resort of Cornwall during 11-13 Junefor the summit.

According to the leaked draft communiqué, the G-7 leaders will also pledge leaders to deliver at least one billion extra doses of vaccines through dose-sharing and financing over the next year to help cover 80% of the world’s adult population. The one billion additional vaccines doses will include 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that the US will buy for distribution to some 100 countries. The White House said on Thursday the Biden administration had reached an agreement with Pfizer and a formal announcement would be made by the president in remarks before the G7 Summit. The summit could also look into financing schemes for global covid-19 vaccine manufacturing. At a Quad Leaders’ summit in March, it was decided that India would manufacture one billion doses of covid-19 vaccines for distribution among Southeast Asian countries with the financing to be provided by the US and Japan and Australia to help with the logistics of vaccine distribution.

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