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HTLS 2020: Is India ready for another pandemic? AIIMS director Dr Guleria answers

Dr Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told Hindustan Times on Thursday that India’s journey amid the Covid-19 pandemic has been “innovative and interesting”. Describing India as a “resilient nation”, Guleria said the country has the kind of will to brave another pandemic.

Dr Guleria, however, called for more investment in the public sector and the need to learn from this pandemic so that the “same mistakes are not repeated” in the future.

“We started by panicking about enough PPEs and labs, we now have the capacity to export PPEs. We are doing 1.5 million tests a day and for our country that is a huge achievement,” he said.

Also read: HTLS 2020 – ‘Thrilled with Covid-19 vaccine leap,’ says Brown University expert

Dr Guleria said there has been a lot of learning over the past few months and it has shown that India has the willpower to overcome another such pandemic.

“But there has to be more investment in the public sector and involvement of healthcare professionals… whenever we have another pandemic we must learn from this and not repeat the same mistakes,” he added.

Dr Guleria was speaking at the opening session of this year’s Hindustan Times Leadership Summit which also saw Dr Ashish K Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, in participation. The experts talked about the raging pandemic, converged their learnings and discussed the challenges ahead.

The experts shared their excitement on the breakthrough in Covid-19 vaccine recently reported by leading pharmaceutical giants Moderna and Pfizer.

“We must not underestimate the challenges but we must still celebrate the scientific breakthrough and this good news,” Jha told Hindustan Times editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan.

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