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The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is working on making around 500 hospitals across 47 of the least developed (LDC) and small island developing member countries run on electricity generated from the Sun.

The initiative may help provide a shot in the arm for India’s “vaccine diplomacy". Having 24x7 electricity supply is important for powering cold storages that will store the coronavirus vaccine, running computers for inventory management, and respirators in the remote areas of these countries, said ISA director general Upendra Tripathy.

In the first phase, ISA, the first inter-government organization headquartered in India, is working on getting these hospitals solarized, one in each district, of these least developed and small islands developing member countries through its programme called ‘ISA Care.’

The development comes against the backdrop of India’s stand of using its vaccine production capacity in the global fight against the pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, and helping countries enhance their cold chain and storage capacities for vaccine delivery. During the initial days of the pandemic, India had also supplied paracetamol and hydroxycholoroquine to around 150 countries to help battle coronavirus.

ISA has become a significant foreign policy tool for New Delhi even as China attempts to co-opt countries into its ambitious One Belt One Road initiative. To counter Beijing, the US is also seeking a bigger role for India in stabilizing and maintaining the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region. As many as 88 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement, while 70 ratified it.

ISA is working on securing grants from organisations such as the European Union and the host country India for its initiative with regard to hospitals, Tripathy said.

India is also exploring the possibility of conducting phase 3 trials in some of its partner countries and Gennova Biopharma, Biological E and Dr. Reddy are working for developing a covid-19 vaccine. PM Narendra Modi on Saturday undertook a three-city tour to review the vaccine development and manufacturing process at Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad, and Serum Institute of India in Pune. “The PM stressed that India considers vaccines as not only vital to good health but also a global good, and it is India’s duty to assist other countries in the fight against the virus," the Prime Minister’s Office said.

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