As the world grapples with COVID-19 pandemic with nearly 3 million (30 lakh) people infected and over 205,000 deaths worldwide, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates while speaking with an international media organisation said that the Coronavirus vaccine could be ready within 12 months if everything goes perfectly, or else it may stretch up to two years as well.
“If everything went perfectly, we’d be in scale manufacturing within a year. We may not achieve that it could be as long as two years. There are over a hundred efforts. What we need to do is pick the most promising of those, get money so we are going full speed, build the manufacturing in parallel. Some of which is fill-finish which is the last step in the process”
Bill Gates had earlier criticised US President Donald Trump and his decision to cut off funding for the World Health Organisation. Taking to Twitter, Gates had said that the world needed the UN body “now more than ever”. He has assured funding to the seven most promising vaccine ideas.
About his views on India's fight against COVID-19, Gates, who predominantly operates via his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation now in various parts of the world tackling issues of public health, had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi commending his leadership and measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In his letter, Gates highlighted the measures like nationwide lockdown, expansion of testing and identifying hotspots for isolation, quarantine and care. The 64-year-old business magnate also lauded the Modi government for significantly increasing health expenditures to strengthen the COVID-19 response. He acknowledged the full utilization of India’s “exceptional digital capabilities” in its COVID-19 response and track coronavirus through the Aarogya Setu digital app.
Earlier in a study on the Government Response Stringency Index done by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government stated that India’s response in tackling the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and imposing a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 was quicker than almost every other country
India is among 18 countries with a score of 100, the highest value on the Government Response Stringency Index, which records the number and strictness of government policies to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) collects data from 73 countries, tracks and compares government responses to the outbreak worldwide.