Vaccine research center by BRICS
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India in talks with BRICS nations to set up vaccine research Center

India is talking with Russia, Brazil, South Africa, and China to establish a BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Center, as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought cooperation in the healthcare industry to the top of the five-nation bloc agenda.

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister will hold a video-conference on Tuesday with his counterparts of Russia, China, Brazil, and South Africa, and the process to set up the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre is likely to get momentum after the video conference. They will additionally go over an additional proposition to hold drills, not amongst the armed forces of the five nations, but amongst the particular national agencies in charge of responding to the epidemics.

The five Foreign Ministers including Jaishankar from various nations will additionally exercise a BRICS technique to respond to the huge socio-economic influence of the travel and transport constraints along with the lockdowns imposed in a lot of the nations around the globe to control the COVID-19.

The leaders of the five nations stressed on “cooperation in promoting R&D of medicines and diagnostic tools to end epidemics and to facilitate access to safe, effective, quality and affordable

essential medicines during the BRICS summit organized in Goa in October 2016  by PM Narendra Modi.

The five leaders agreed that the bloc would step up its role in global health governance, especially in the context of the United Nations agencies and WHO during the BRICS summit in September 2017 at Xiamen. They additionally accepted to ensure “accessibility of innovative medical products through the promotion of research and development as well as accessibility to affordable, quality, effective and safe drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, and other clinical products and innovations to clinical services through enhanced health financing and health systems”.

Tn the bloc’s 10th summit in Johannesburg in South Africa in July 2018, the proposal of establishing a BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre was introduced and endorsed.

However, over the past few years, it did not see much progress.

A source in New Delhi told the DH on 27 April 2020, “The process of establishing the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre is expected to gain momentum in the following months, as the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the demand for stepping up worldwide collaboration in the healthcare field”.

Preparations for the forthcoming summit are most likely to be discussed during the video-conference on Tuesday by the BRICS Foreign Ministers which is scheduled to be held at Saint Petersburg in Russia from July 21-23, however, it has now come under the darkness of uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19.

If the situation proceeds beyond June, the possibility of holding the summit with video-conference is discussed by the diplomats of the 5 countries.

Author: Sruthi S