“Bilateral relations will scale new heights”

H.E. Mr Mahender Singh Kanyal, Ambassador of India to Suriname, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines responded to questions from the India Empire Magazine on a range of subjects ...

  • Ambassador Kanyal (right) with President of Suriname H.E. Mr Chandrikapersad Santokhi

H.E. Mr Mahender Singh Kanyal, Ambassador of India to Suriname, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

This has been a tough year globally. But amidst this pandemic, do you see positive signs and opportunities opening up in the bilateral space between the two countries?

Today the whole world is in the grip of an unprecedented pandemic which has shattered lives, livelihoods and health of millions of people and economy across the world and which has disrupted every aspect of normal human life. But this does not mean everything is doom and gloom. The unprecedented situation has also created many development opportunities. India is among a few countries which have displayed great resilience in fighting the impact of the pandemic with determination.

India was among the

  • i) First in creating a responsive system of lockdowns. India was among the first to advocate the use of masks and face coverings as a public health measure.
  • ii) Earliest to create public awareness campaigns about social distancing. In record time, medical infrastructure was scaled up- be it Covid hospitals, Covid beds, ICU capacities, PPEs etc.
  • iii) Starting from one testing lab in January, 2020, India has now over sixteen hundred labs across the country.
  • iv) Starting from almost nothing, India is today the 2nd largest PPE kits manufacturer in the world.

So, right from the beginning of the Corona crisis, India followed a preemptive, proactive, graded, whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to tackle the pandemic, which has led to a significant improvement in recovery rate which is today about 92% and fatality rate which is about 1.5 per cent—the lowest compared to world average. India has not only taken care of its citizens, but also the international community in these difficult times as India believes that a global crisis like this requires a global response and in line with this spirit, India has engaged with her partners and friends at various levels, across the globe. India has lived up to its name of being the Pharmacy of the World and as a responsible stakeholder in global health supply chains, ensured timely access to essential drugs and medical items for over 150 countries and medical supplies worth US$100,000 in each case as a gesture of solidarity to countries in South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean including Suriname, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. India is the world’s leading producer and largest exporter of high quality and affordable generic drugs and medical equipment. 60 percent of vaccines in the world are produced in India and it has the capacity to produce 500 million doses a month of Corona vaccine.