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India playing ‘pharmacy of the world’ role during COVID-19 crisis: SCO Secretary-General

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 initiatives, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary-General Vladimir Norov has said.

India has so far supplied medicines to 133 countries in the fight against COVID-19, which shows India’s generosity, despite the fact that the country’s government has taken urgent measures to prevent and treat the disease on a national scale, Norov told PTI in an interview.

This is a worthy and responsible example of the behaviour of a major power, and at the same time demonstrates the complementarity and mutual support of the SCO member states, he said. India last week overwhelmingly won the election to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a non-permanent seat.

Commenting on India’s election to the UNSC, Norov, who visited New Delhi in January this year and held extensive talks with the top Indian leadership, said that the country’s entry into the powerful UN organ is more than symbolic.

”This is more than symbolic now as India secures its non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for the period of 2021-2022. ”I am sure that highly qualified scientists and medical professionals in India will take an active part in the efforts of the world community to study and research the coronavirus pandemic and develop a vaccine,” Norov said.

”India plays the role of the ?pharmacy of the world’ and in terms of a pandemic it is crucial in a global context,” he said. Beijing-headquartered SCO is an eight-member economic and security bloc. India and Pakistan were admitted into the grouping in 2017. Its founding members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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