Biden praises India’s handling of Covid-19

While lauding India’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis in a democratic manner, Biden “contrasted India’s success with China’s failure to handle [the] pandemic, though both countries are of comparable size”, the official was quoted as saying.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden at Quad Summit. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden at Quad Summit. (ANI)
Updated on May 25, 2022 01:04 AM IST
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New Delhi: US President Joe Biden praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for successfully handling Covid-19 in a democratic manner and contrasted this with China’s “failure” to tackle the pandemic during a closed session of the Quad Summit in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Biden’s remarks appeared to be “unscripted”, as he made a special intervention regarding India’s handling of the pandemic before making his prepared remarks, according to an unnamed senior official cited by news agency ANI.

While lauding India’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis in a democratic manner, Biden “contrasted India’s success with China’s failure to handle [the] pandemic, though both countries are of comparable size”, the official was quoted as saying.

Also read: ‘Force for good’, says PM on Quad; Biden says, ‘We mean business’: 10 points

Biden further said that Modi’s success has shown the world that democracies can deliver and busted the myth that “autocracies like China and Russia can handle the rapidly changing world better because their leadership can take and implement decisions without going through lengthy democratic processes”, according to the official.

According to an Indian government update on May 21, the country’s active caseload currently stands at 14,996 and the recovery rate at 98.75%. China reported a little more than 800 infections on Sunday, the first time the tally was below 1,000 since March 9, and down from a daily peak of almost 30,000 on April 13.

However, millions of people in Shanghai were confined to their homes for weeks and many restrictions remain in place under China’s “Covid Zero” approach.

Also read: PM hails India-US partnership. 'Committed to make it closest we've...': Biden

Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra told a media briefing on Tuesday that there was a “general appreciation” in the Quad’s deliberations and in a couple of bilateral meetings of the “manner in which India has been able to shape a very comprehensive response to the Covid-19 pandemic”. This included the vaccination drive and health security for primary health care workers, he said.

Every country, Kwatra noted, had responded to Covid-19 within its national context and the vaccine partnership of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad has evolved to include not just Covid-19 vaccines but also the building of health infrastructure and an increase in vaccine manufacturing capacity.

Also read: PM Modi, Joe Biden stress on ‘strategic partnership based on trust’ at Japan meet

Quad members have also distributed made-in-India vaccines to Cambodia and Thailand recently and there is an understanding that members of the grouping need to come together to stay prepared as they move forward, he said.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2022