Covid diplomacy establishes India as a reliable and responsible global power

New Delhi: India’s Covid diplomacy at one of worst global crisis of recent decades is enabling Delhi to emerge as a responsible and reliable international power at a time when many established international actors have floundered.

India has begun sending dispatches of rescue medicines as gifts to neighboring countries to help them fight the coronavirus pandemic. The government was sending drugs to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Mauritius and some African countries. One of the early shipments, a 10 tonne Air India aircraft, was sent to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Supplies are being made to Gulf in the backdrop of growing strategic partnership. Simultaneously Russia may place orders for HCQ to treat arthritis and lupus.

While neighboring countries are getting shipments of paracetamol and hydroxychloroquinine, the government has also removed exports of Covid-19 drugs to countries such as the US, Spain, Brazil, Bahrain, Germany and the United Kingdom under commercial agreements signed with Indian pharmaceutical companies.

Praises were heaped on Indian PM by Presidents of USA and Brazil paving way for stronger partnerships in future. Besides, PM’s efforts to address livelihood of economically backward sections of society through DBTs was lauded by the World Heath Organisation. In comparison a leading power kept citizens in queue to get doles.

Exports from special economic zones are allowed after steps have been taken to secure the supplies India may need if the worst case of Covid-19 occurs.

India undertook a scenario building exercise and decided to allow exports of drugs like HCQ on case by case basis taking into account worst case scenario in the country even before US President had threatened to retaliate if Delhi did not allow consignments.

The decision to allow export of HCQ on a case by case basis was taken before Trumps statement threatening retaliation. A scenario building exercise was held and it was noted that the country will have adequate quantity of HCQ even in a worst case situation. The country has sufficient quantity of the drug.

HCQ, the drug at the centre of this diplomacy, is a derived from chloroquine, a traditional malaria treatment compound, though it has also been used for the last two decades to alleviate symptoms of long-drawn auto-immune ailments like arthritis and lupus. An article Lancet claimed that China has found the drug could inhibit Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in vitro. A small study in France also showed some positive results. In Rajasthan doctors had successfully used HCQ, along with a combination of other medicines and mechanical aid, to some patients affected by COVID-19.

From SAARC region to G-20 India has taken lead in addressing the crisis. India’s diplomacy has played major role in managing the crisis, be in evacuating the distress people or following the pandemic minute by minute or settling immediate and complicated issues including facilitating evacuation of stranded foreign nationals in India.

Source Article