May 14, 2020
The Indian Government has urged G20 nations to ensure the supply of medical equipment and healthcare professionals to countries in need
Representing India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry Shri Piyush Goyal suggested moderating export restrictions, rather than removing them completely
The Indian delegation also suggested revisiting agriculture agreements to ensure food security for the vulnerable sections amid the pandemic
India has now provided medical supplies such as HCQ tablets and other medicaments, on both commercial and grant basis, to over 120 countries
India has called upon fellow member nations at the recent 2nd G20 Virtual Trade & Investment Ministers Meeting to ensure ease of access to essential medicines, treatments, and vaccines at affordable prices, according to a Ministry of Commerce & Industry statement on May 14. Minister Shri Piyush Goyal addressed the gathering on the need for a collaborative approach to tackle the problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic, urging fellow G20 nations to look into supplying diagnostic equipment, protective equipment, and healthcare professionals to other countries in need.
MInister Goyal spoke on the importance of moderating export restrictions instead of lifting them completely to ensure equal accessibility of medical supplies and equipment to all, rather than the highest bidder. Additionally, he advised revisiting agriculture agreements as a more effective and sustainable way of ensuring food security for the most vulnerable sections of society, by establishing practices for public stockholding of food supplies, before the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO.
As a reliable source of affordable, high quality medical and pharmaceutical products for almost 190 countries around the world, India is well placed to support global efforts towards curbing the spread of coronavirus. India has extended medical and financial support to various countries struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. India has sent medical supplies that include hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets, on both commercial and grant basis, to over 120 countries in Latin America, South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Similarly, India has also approved funds for project outlays and the transport of other medical equipment.
India is taking various measures to ensure continuous trade of medical supplies and equipment required for treatment, including the launch of an official help desk to assist with any COVID-19 related export and import issue. The Government has also announced the creation of a US$10 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund for the delivery of urgent medical supplies, equipment, and humanitarian assistance to neighbouring countries, along with plans of granting access to medical and public health information with the help of digital technologies.