Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland on Tuesday spoke to Republic TV's Editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy where she issued high praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's handling of the COVID-19 crisis, and hailed the government and the people of India for their response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. She said India, together as a country, managed to minimise the pandemic because it could have been so much worse.
The Secretary-General of the 54-nation bloc said, "The whole Commonwealth has been affected by the virus but India has made an immense effort to keep its people safe. India is the largest country in our Commonwealth. One of the things people are looking to India for is how PM Modi, the government and people of India have responded to the pandemic, controlled it and minimised it because it could have been so much worse."
#LIVE | One of the things people are looking to India for is how PM Modi, the government and people of India have responded to the pandemic and minimised it, because it could have been so much worse: Commonwealth Secretary- @PScotlandCSG https://t.co/rGQJsiKgt2 pic.twitter.com/KXcznmdEQG— Republic (@republic) May 12, 2020
She added, "My own belief is we have never needed multilateralism more than we do today, and I was very impressed how PM Modi pulled together members of SAARC, including Pakistan - everyone came."
She went on to speak about India's pharmaceutical manufacturing pedigree and highlighted how India's scale can be essential for other nations, particularly the smaller ones, to battling the pandemic.
#LIVE | India has a recovery plan which has been discussed, which will be beneficial for all our member states to look at what India's doing, because we believe pooling this knowledge across 54 nations will be very beneficial: Commonwealth Secretary-General @PScotlandCSG pic.twitter.com/7hL83cpQwd— Republic (@republic) May 12, 2020
"India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally, and can therefore draw on its growing pharma industry to provide medical supplies to many small Commonwealth states and we've been very interested in how India's made this contribution," she said.
She put India's size and scale into context:
#LIVE | Look at India's capacity with 1.3 billion - the ability for India to provide cost-efficient and cost-efficient medication for itself will be exponentially greater than the tiny nations who are dependent on others: Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland pic.twitter.com/5jpzC6XcpQ— Republic (@republic) May 12, 2020