New Delhi: As the world continues to struggle to find a vaccine for the dreadful coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a meeting with philanthropist Bill Gates to discuss the global response to the infection and the importance of global coordination in scientific innovation.

In his video conference with Gates, PM Modi underlined the conscious approach that India has adopted in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Had an extensive interaction with @BillGates. We discussed issues ranging from India’s efforts to fight coronavirus, work of the @gatesfoundation in battling COVID-19, role of technology, innovation and producing a vaccine to cure the pandemic,” PM Modi tweeted after his meeting with Gates.

An official statement said that PM Modi and Gates also agreed that given India’s willingness and capacity to contribute to global efforts, it was important for New Delhi to be included in the global discussions for coordinating responses to the pandemic.

PM Modi also explained Gates that “people-centric bottom-up approach” has helped win acceptability for physical distancing, respect for front-line workers, wearing of masks, maintaining proper hygiene, and respecting lockdown provisions, the official statement said.

The official statement further said that the Prime Minister highlighted how some of the previous developmental initiatives taken by the government such as expanding financial inclusion, strengthening last mile delivery of health services, popularising cleanliness and hygiene, drawing upon India’s ayurvedic wisdom to enhance people’s immunity, helped increase the effectiveness of India’s response to the pandemic.    

Appreciating the work done by the Gates Foundation, PM Modi asked Gates for suggestions on how India’s capacities and capabilities could be better leveraged for the general benefit of the world.

PM Modi also suggested that the Gates Foundation could take the lead in analysing the necessary changes in lifestyles, economic organisation, social behaviour, modes of disseminating education and healthcare, that would emerge in the post-COVID world.

He said that India would be happy to contribute to such an analytical exercise, based on its own experiences.

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