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Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inaugural function of Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inaugural function of Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 (ANI)

India seeing a decline in Covid-19 cases due to an early lockdown: PM Modi

'India was one of the firsts to encourage the usage of masks. India actively began to work on effective contact-tracing,' Modi said adding that the country was also one of the earliest to deploy the rapid antigen tests

New Delhi: India is currently seeing a decline in the number of covid-19 cases per day and the growth rate of cases because it was one of the first countries to adopt a lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. He was addressing the inaugural function of Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 via video conferencing.

India has one of the highest recovery rates of 88%, Modi said.

“India was one of the firsts to encourage the usage of masks. India actively began to work on effective contact-tracing," Modi said adding that the country was also one of the earliest to deploy the rapid antigen tests.

Modi also took note of other interventions that his government implemented before covid-19.

“We have made many interventions which are contributing to a better healthcare system. Take sanitation. Improved cleanliness. More toilet coverage. Who does this help the most? It helps the poor and under-privileged. It leads to a reduction in diseases," Modi said.

"Now we are ensuring every household gets piped drinking water. This will further ensure disease reduction. We are setting up more medical colleges, especially in rural areas. It brings better healthcare into our villages," he said.

Considering the role of science during covid-19 In India, the Prime Minister said that India has a strong and vibrant scientific community.

“We also have good scientific institutions. They have been India’s greatest assets, specially during the last few months, while fighting covid-19. From containment to capacity building, they have achieved wonders, said the Prime Minister.

The future, Modi said, will be shaped by societies that invest in science and innovation. “But, this cannot be done in a short-sighted manner. One has to invest in science and innovation well in advance," said Modi adding that is when we can reap benefits at the right time," he said.

The Prime Minister said that the journey to these innovations must be shaped by collaboration and public participation. Science will never prosper in silos. The Grand Challenges Programme has understood this ethos well. The scale of this programme is commendable, the PM said.

Modi said that India want to help other nations enhance their capabilities in vaccine manufacturing and immunisation. Beyond Covid as well, India is known for its proven capacity to produce quality vaccines and medicines at low cost, he said. The prime minister said that India is moving ahead with Phase 3 clinical trials in India and other neighbouring countries.

The Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2020 is being co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, the Indian Council of Medical Research and NITI Aayog, along with the Grand Challenges Canada, the United States Agency for International Development and Wellcome.

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