India, Turkey Assisted Over 200 Countries During COVID-19 Pandemic

India and Turkey, not the greatest of allies, claimed to have assisted around 200 countries (many overlapping) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per ANI, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that India provided medical supplies to over 120 nations to combat the coronavirus pandemic, out of which 43 countries received it as a grant.

“We offer full support to any international commitments to promote this cause. Staying true to our tradition of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’ — the world is one big family. India has unconditionally contributed medical supplies to over 120 countries to combat this disease, of which 43 countries received it as a grant.

We are also sharing our medical and public health expertise and capacity with them, using digital technologies,” said Goyal.

During his intervention, Goyal called upon the G20 nations to ensure access to essential medicines, treatments and vaccines at affordable prices. He said that the unprecedented situation calls for solidarity and a balanced, inclusive and calibrated response. “An overriding priority for all countries at this time is to save precious lives,” the minister added.

He vehemently called for an agreement to facilitate the use of TRIPs flexibilities to ensure access to essential medicines, treatments, and vaccines at affordable prices. He also called upon the G20 nations to also consent to provide diagnostic and protective equipment and healthcare professionals across borders where they are most needed.

Goyal said that learning from this extremely distressing experience, the world has to come together to build partnerships among like-minded nations with shared values of democracy, rules-based and transparent business models and concern for humanity as a whole.

“India wishes to contribute to this global effort,” he added.

Sharing a small example of India’s capabilities and commitment, Goyal explained, “When the pandemic broke out, India barely produced a few thousand pieces of Personal Protective Equipment. We had never needed PPEs in large numbers ever before. When we realised that countries were not able to supply enough for our needs, our domestic manufacturers created and ramped up capacities. So much so, that we now produce nearly 300,000 PPEs every day.”

Meanwhile, Turkey says it has sent medical aid to 80 countries to fight the coronavirus. “We have had the chance to serve 80 nations that have asked us for help so far,” Fuat Oktay Vice President of Turkey said in an interview.

The main demand from these countries was face masks, gloves and respirators, Oktay said.  Oktay said two-thirds of the nations in the world, or close to 70%, had solicited support from Turkey.