India supplies about 50 per cent of all of Africa’s demand for generic medicine, 40 per cent of USA’s need for generic medicine and 25 per cent of the UK’s requirement of all medicines, she said at the 35th annual convocation of The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University here.
Besides, she said India produces about 60 per cent of global vaccines and 70 per cent of the World Health Organisation’s vaccines for essential immunisation schemes.
Talking about the COVID-19 vaccination programme undertaken by India, she said, “The Centre, along with state governments, executed vaccination at a rapid pace that by the time Omicron variant of Covid attacked us, we were prepared to face it… India could stand up to face the challenge because of the preparedness of a democratically-elected government.”
Many countries in the world, including China, which had obtained WHO approval for COVID vaccines much earlier than India, are seeing resurgence of the pandemic, the Union minister said, adding that India, however, obtained WHO approval much later after repeated trials and scrutiny.
With regard to medical tourism, she said, it is estimated to be around USD 9 billion which makes it stand at 10th position in the Global Medical Tourism Index.
Approximately two million patients visit India each year from 78 countries for medical, wellness and IVF treatments, Sitharaman said.
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