"Perhaps the most successful tangible example of our successful bilateral cooperation in recent years was the development of the rotavirus vaccine, which saves thousands of lives every year,” Sandhu said (Photo: Getty Images).       

Indian pharmaceutical companies, known for making affordable medicines, are set to play an important role in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s ambassador to the US, has said.

India is exporting a total of 430 million tablets of paracetamol to countries including the UK. Another drug which has seen a spurt in demand in recent weeks is anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and India has sent the drug to over 50 countries over the last few days, he said on Tuesday.

“Indian pharmaceutical companies are global leaders in producing affordable low-cost medicines and will play an important role in the fight against this pandemic,” Sandhu said in his virtual conversation with Puneet Talwar, senior fellow at Asia Society Policy Institute.

Sandhu said both India and the US maintain robust partnership in the area of health and scientific research, which will be critical in the fight against the disease that has killed over 177,004 people and affected over 2.54 million globally.

“Our network of scientific institutions, including the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US are in touch with each other. This is part of our longstanding cooperation, which has been energised in the context of this pandemic,” he said.

The US India Science and Technology Endowment Fund has already called for proposals that would enable scientists to collaborate and carry out joint research and to also work towards the development of new technologies to fight Covid-19.

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