India-WHO Current Affairs - 2020

US to donate Ventilators to India

The United States recently announced that it will donate ventilators to India. The announcement is seen as a reciprocal gesture of India’s lift on the export ban of the anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine

India recently lifted the export ban over HCQ drugs. This benefitted the United States to larger extent. Also, US being one of the worst hit nations of COVID-19, the lift of ban was of great help. With the lift, around 50 million HCQ tablets were exported to the US.

However, lately studies are finding out that the drug is failing its efficacy in seriously ill patients. According to a study conducted in France and China, the drug failed in randomized controlled trials.

Both US and China had recommended the use of the drug under their national guidelines.

HCQ in India

ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) had recommended the drug in “Prophylactic treatment”. Prophylactic is preventive treatment.

HCQ in WHO

HCQ has been included in one of the four mega trials that are being conducted by WHO (World Health Organization). This includes HCQ, Lopinavir and Ritonavir, Lopinavir and Ritonavir along with Interferon, Remdesivir.

India attends 7 nation meeting initiated by USA

On May 13, 2020, the External Affairs ministers represented India at the 7 nation meeting initiated by the United States.

Taiwan

The meeting was held on the same day, the US Senate passed an act directing the Secretary of the State to frame a strategy to make Taiwan an observer at the World Health Organization.

The meeting was held to gain support from the participating nations. It includes Australia, India, Brazil, Japan, Israel and Republic of Korea.

Why is the meet significant to India?

India is to hold the chair of the World Health Organization in May 2020 after Japan completes its tenure. India will continue to hold the chair for the next three years. This comes during the time when there are world wide criticisms faced by WHO. Especially the US, one of India’s primary trading partner, accused WHO being China-centric. It is to be noted that US has also cut the funds allocated to the WHO.

Analysis

Experts believe that India has been caught in the spat between China and US. Currently Taiwan is ruled by the Republic of China (ROC). However, China claims Taiwan to be its part under its “One China Principle”. Taiwanese on the other hand want a separate land. It is to be noted that US and Taiwan have good economic and defence relations.