Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has praised Prime
Minister Narendra Modi for his decisive leadership in the fight against
coronavirus pandemic that has helped curb the spread of the virus.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on April 22, Mr Gates said that his
government’s efforts, such as lockdown, expanding testing, identifying
hotspots, quarantining, increasing health expenditures, promoting
research and development, and digital innovation were commendable.
“I’m glad your government is fully utilizing its exceptional digital
capabilities in its COVID-19 response and has launched the Aarogya
Setu digital app for coronavirus tracking, contact tracing, and to connect
people to health services,” the American billionaire philanthropist said.
Mr Gates appreciated PM Modi’s efforts to balance public health
requirements to ensure adequate social protection for all Indians.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced additional funding of
USD150 million to fight the global pandemic, increasing its total grant
for the COVID-19 crisis to more than USD250 million. The foundation
has called on world leaders to ensure equitable access to diagnostics,
treatments, and vaccines. “It is increasingly clear that the world's
response to this pandemic will not be effective unless it is also
equitable,” the Foundation’s co-chair Melinda Gates said in a statement.
“We have a responsibility to meet this global crisis with global
solidarity. In addition to contributing to the development of diagnostics,
therapeutics, and vaccines, these funds will support efforts against
COVID-19 in low-and-middle-income countries, where local leaders
and healthcare workers are doing heroic work to protect vulnerable
communities and slow the spread of the disease,” she added.
The new funds will go to its partner organizations in Africa and South
Asia to scale up COVID-19 detection, treatment, and isolation efforts,
besides the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, it
said.According to the Johns Hopkins University, over two million people
were infected by the virus including more than 136,000 deaths globally.
“COVID-19 does not obey border laws. Even if most countries succeed
in slowing the disease over the next few months, the virus could return if
the pandemic remains severe enough elsewhere,” Mr Gates said in the
statement. “The world community must understand that so long as
COVID-19 is somewhere, we need to act as if it were everywhere.
Beating this pandemic will require an unprecedented level of
international funding and cooperation,” he added.
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