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Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said the Indian pharmaceutical industry is capable of producing COVID-19 vaccines not just for the country but for the world.
A lot of "important things have been done" in India and its pharma industry is doing work "to help make the coronavirus vaccine building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases", the Trustee of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said.
Gates said Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a "partner with the government, particularly with the department of biotechnology, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the office of the principal scientific advisor provide advice and help about getting these tools going".
The comment about the capabilities of India's pharma industry was made for a Discovery Plus documentary, titled-'COVID-19: India's War Against The Virus'.
In the documentary, Gates also said that India faces a huge challenge due to the health crisis owing to its gigantic size and urban centres with a lot of population density. The documentary was shot after the coronavirus outbreak in India.
"India has a lot of capacity there -- with the drug and vaccine companies that are huge suppliers to the entire world. You know, more vaccines are made in India than anywhere-- starting with Serum Institute, that's the largest," he said.
"But (there are) also Bio E, Bharat (Biotech), many others. They are doing work to help make the coronavirus vaccine, building on other great capacities that they have used for other diseases," he added.
In the documentary, Gates claimed: "We worked for the Indian government on health issues like introducing new vaccines over the last decade; and so when COVID-19 came along, we stepped in and said you know where are the gaps, we have been funding work on detection and isolation."
"We have been particularly active in UP and Bihar where we have done health delivery in the past," he further added.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research called India, the "pharmacy of the world" and said that around 60% of drugs utilised in US are of Indian origin.
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