The theme of the meeting was- Delivering a co-ordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response.
Participating in the meeting the Union Health Minister expressed his deepest condolences and concern at the loss of lives due to COVID-19 and further added that the Health Ministry of India acknowledge the tremendous contribution of the numerous frontline health service providers as well as other civic bodies in saving precious lives.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India undertook COVID-19 management with the highest level of political commitment Prime Minister Narenda Modi under whose guidance, India’s response toCovid-19 has been pro-active, pre-emptive and graded.
He said that India took all necessary and timely steps including surveillance at points of entry, evacuation of our nationals abroad, surveillance in community through disease surveillance network, health infrastructure strengthening, training and capacity building of health staff, risk communication and community involvement as part of its management efforts.
The Health Minister said In implementing the world’s largest lockdown to prevent the spread of this pandemic, India aiming to protect lives by mitigating the explosive growth of the disease and by ensuring that our healthcare system is able to cope up with the growth of the disease.
At the same time, we are also mindful of saving lives as well as livelihoods and are therefore keeping all essential services out of the purview of the lockdown.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an economic package of more than 265 billion US Dollars to support economic recovery as well to support vulnerable segments of our population and India is gradually easing the restrictions especially in areas where we have managed to contain the disease.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said India has been the first country to urge consolidated global action to fight the challenge of COVID-19 and have convened a meeting of SAARC leaders in our region in mid-March in which the need for “coming together, not growing apart; collaboration not confusion; and preparation, not panic”, was underlined. These are the elements that signify India’s response to this crisis.
He said that India has provided essential medicines such as Hydroxy Chloroquine to almost 100 needy countries, extending solidarity and support during this time of crisis.