India’s Covid management most transparent, says Adar Poonawalla

Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute of India (SII), said today that India has been one of the most transparent countries on Covid management and has maintained a robust reporting mechanism, dismissing reports that India had more deaths than the official figure have suffered.

He said there are “global political forces at play” who want to criticize and paint India in the wrong light.

“I think at times they’re quite jealous of our success and whether it’s one of our programs that we’ve done so well on, so we just have to discuss that in the right spirit. And give answers and respond accordingly,” he said at the Times Network’s 2022 India Economic Conclave on Friday.

He said India has been one of the most transparent in terms of testing numbers and other ways.

“We could have easily hidden those numbers, but we didn’t. There have been many rumors and talks about us hiding to show lowercase. I think there was one of the incidents, but in general as a country we’ve been very transparent about everything,” he said.

He said the fallacy that the Modi government doesn’t like criticism is incorrect.

“I think when you address an issue, which is a real issue, and you address it constructively in the right way, you move forward. I think the Modi government is taking it in the right spirit and we appreciate the government’s. I think it’s just the right way to convey and explain it to everyone involved. We have an excellent relationship,” he said.

He said he worked very closely with the government.

He urged the government to do things faster. “Just like what we did during the pandemic and we shouldn’t lose that momentum that we had during the pandemic,” he said.

Responding to criticism that SII was exporting vaccines at the expense of the people of India, he said: “I think what they (the opposition) didn’t understand was that exports weren’t banned because of vaccine shortages. There was enough vaccine but I think the argument of that resistance was why are we helping other countries when we need the vaccine? but what they don’t understand and maybe the whole community has failed to explain to the public also that they not go unless we help other countries to come forward and help us. Because of our vaccine being reprogrammed, India gained tremendous goodwill. And these countries provided us with oxygen when we needed it. It is a pride of India that we are known as the world’s pharmacy and there is a reason for that,” he said.

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