Last year around this time of the year, Brazilian President Bolsonaro wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which read,” Just as Lord Hanuman brought the holy medicine from the Himalayas to save the life of Lord Rama’s brother Lakshmana, and Jesus healed those who were sick and restored the sight to Bartimeu, India, and Brazil will overcome this global crisis by joining forces and sharing blessings for the sake of all peoples.”
India was going through a phase of strict lockdown across the country and only essential services were allowed at that time. These were the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak when Hydroxychloroquine was dubbed as the magical remedy against the virus, the world actually queued to buy it from India.
It was the wonder drug that soon proved to be not that effective as earlier thought, nevertheless, India’s gesture to allow exports of what was believed to be an impactful drug was appreciated the world over.
India did have an advantage there, India is estimated to produce approximately 70% of the world’s hydroxychloroquine, with Ipca Labs and Zydus Cadila the two largest producers of the drug in the country. Ipca Labs accounts for more than 80% of India’s hydroxychloroquine supply.
Then came the vaccine
Even when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, a large portion of the vaccines that will be administered around the world will be made in India.
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that India was not dependent on anybody during the pandemic period, rather it extended support to the world in the battle against the virus.
He claimed that PM Modi has supported the supply of medicines to over 150 countries besides the COVID-19 vaccine supply to over 75 nations from India.
The Brazilian President was once again invoking Ramayana by Tweeting an image of Hindu god Hanuman carrying a mountain of coronavirus vaccine to Brazil, Bolsonaro thanked India for helping his country with the jabs.
As far as COVID-19 vaccines are concerned, it is estimated that India could become the world’s second-largest maker, after the US.
This includes both domestically developed ones and the likes of Serm Institute of India which is manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine currently and will soon start producing the one developed by Novavax.
The role that India has played during the course of the coronavirus pandemic as the pharmacy of the world has been phenomenalU.K. Minister Lord Tariq AhmadAdvertisement
India is playing the role as the pharmacy of the world during the Covid-19 pandemic with its vast experience and deep knowledge in medicine, setting the tone for many regional and global initiativesSCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov
On Friday, under the Quad initiative, it was agreed that India will also manufacture the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the country.
So far, India has granted emergency use authorization for two vaccines, namely those manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech. There are four other vaccines in different stages of clinical trials.
It is likely that at least two of them, including a second indigenous vaccine being developed by Zydus Cadila, will be granted authorization in the coming weeks.