On May 14, 2020, Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan participated in the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting through Video Conference. The theme of the meeting is- ‘Delivering a co-ordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response’.
Harsh Vardhan’s statement as part of intervention at the meeting is as follows:
i.It is critical to build and strengthen core capacities of developing countries especially the least developed countries for future preparedness, response and flexibility.
ii.Important to work on the causes of the pandemic and discover drugs and vaccines so as to control transmission and prevent recurrence.
iii.Significant to facilitate universal and affordable access to all relevant medical products and technologies(both existing and new), these should be made available in a fair and equitable manner to tackle COVID-19.
i.India has been the 1st country to urge consolidated global action to fight the challenge of COVID-19.
ii.Has taken all necessary and timely steps including surveillance at points of entry, evacuation of our nationals abroad, surveillance in community through disease surveillance network, health infrastructure strengthening, training and capacity building of health staff, risk communication and community involvement as part of its management efforts.
iii.In order to prevent the spread of this pandemic,the world’s largest lockdown was implemented to protect lives by alleviating the explosive growth & ensure the ability of the healthcare system to cope up with the growth of the disease.
Meeting– Have convened a meeting of SAARC leaders in India in mid-March, where the need for- “coming together, not growing apart; collaboration not confusion; and preparation, not panic”, was underlined. These are the elements that signify India’s response to this crisis.
Medicines– Has provided essential medicines such as HydroxyChloroquine to almost 100 needy countries, extending solidarity and support during this time of crisis.
There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth, in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. Commonwealth countries are diverse – they are amongst the world’s biggest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.
The 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 22 – 27 June 2020 has been postponed due to COVID-19
Secretariat’s office(Headquarters)– London, United Kingdom
Secretary General– The Right Honourable(Rt) Patricia Scotland Queens Council(QC), the 1st woman to hold the post & 2nd from Caribbean.
Constituency of Harsh Vardhan– Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi