you are here: HomeNewsIndia

India proposes online platform for SAARC to jointly combat coronavirus

India made the proposal at a video-conference of senior health officials of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries on Thursday.

March 27, 2020 / 09:24 AM IST

India has proposed setting up of a common electronic platform for all SAARC nations to share expertise and best practices in jointly combatting the coronavirus pandemic.

India made the proposal at a video-conference of senior health officials of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries on Thursday.

The SAARC is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

At an India-initiated video-conference of SAARC leaders on March 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested that health professionals of the member nations could come together to jointly fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"India proposed a shared electronic platform for all SAARC nations to share and exchange information, knowledge, expertise and best practices for jointly combatting the coronavirus epidemic," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Close

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more
Show

It was informed that considerable work had already gone into the creation of the platform, which could also serve as a multipurpose vehicle to further discuss and conduct activities such as online training for emergency response personnel, the MEA said.

The Indian side proposed that till the electronic platform is fully operational, a network of experts representing the health services of all SAARC countries may be set up on email or WhatsApp to enable exchange of all relevant information on a real-time basis.
PTI
first published: Mar 27, 2020 09:15 am

stay updated

Get Daily News on your Browser
Sections