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Modi Wants Covid Shots Patent Rules Lifted: Highlights of His G7 Speech & What it Means

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

India and South Africa have come out with a proposal at the World Trade Organisation to waive the intellectual property rights (IPR) on coronavirus vaccines, drugs and therapeutics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, speaking at the G7 outreach session titled ‘Building Back Stronger - Health’, sought support of the member countries to lift patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. India and South Africa have come out with a proposal at the World Trade Organisation to waive the intellectual property rights (IPR) on coronavirus vaccines, drugs and therapeutics protected by the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) agreement of the WTO.

Apart from India and South Africa, the co-sponsors include the African Group, the LDC Group, Bolivia, Egypt, Eswatini, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Maldives, Mozambique, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. The aim of the revised proposal is to increase global access to several crucial medical products to help nations more effectively tackle the deadly virus with affordable and accessible tools.

HERE ARE THE KEY TAKES FROM MODI’S ADDRESS:

1. India’s emphasis on keeping open supply chains for vaccine raw materials and components to help enhance vaccine production in countries like India received widespread support, sources said.

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2. Sources added that Australia and several other countries came out in strong support of Modi’s call to waive patents on coronavirus vaccines to boost their production.

3. German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported Modi’s call for adopting a “one earth, one health" approach, which is aimed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic globally.

4. Calling for global unity, leadership, and solidarity to prevent future pandemics, Modi emphasised on the special responsibility of democratic and transparent societies to deal with the challenge, according to an official statement.

5. The prime minister spoke about India’s successful use of open source digital tools for contact tracing and vaccine management, and conveyed India’s willingness to share its experience and expertise.

The Group of Seven (G7) comprises the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

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first published:June 13, 2021, 07:59 IST