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MEA to brief foreign envoys on India's COVID-19 response, vaccine development on Nov 6

India will be briefing foreign envoys and diplomats based in Delhi next week in a mega exercise on its COVID-19 action plan. The briefing will be done by India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla.

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India will be briefing foreign envoys and diplomats based in Delhi next week in a mega exercise on its COVID-19 action plan. The briefing will take place on November 6 and will be done by India's foreign secretary Harsh Shringla.

This is not the first time India is briefing foreign diplomats on its COVID-19 action plan and response. In the past also, such briefings have been conducted.

Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, India has reached out to more than 150 countries with medicines such as HCQ, Paracetamol. During his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speech, PM Modi had assured the global community that "India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis" and will also "help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of vaccines."

The focus will also be on the vaccine, with Health minister Harsh Vardhan expressing hope that by early 2021, India is likely to get it.

Three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which 2 are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.  

India's scientists and research teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan have requested clinical trials in their countries.

In fact, Indian officials with counterparts from Myanmar and Bangladesh have had meetings on vaccine development. This has also been the top focus during the foreign secretary's visit to both these countries.

During Myanmar visit earlier this month along with Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, India had gifted 3000 vials of anti-Covid Remdesivir to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as a "symbol" of India's commitment to helping Myanmar mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

For the neighbourhood, India had organised two training modules in which about 90 health experts and scientists have participated.

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