NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar on Monday lauded India's COVID-19 response, saying that it should give people confidence in the country's future.
Speaking at the third edition of Deccan Dialogue, Jaishankar said: "A nation that had no preparedness for an enormous crisis, responded in a way that it should give us all confidence in our future."
The minister said during the onset of pandemic, India was not able to provide enough PPEs and ventilators. Even N-95 masks were assembled in small quantities and testing kits were not produced in the country. "We should ask ourselves why not earlier, today not only (India) meets its national needs but helps beyond."
He also stated that during the ongoing pandemic situation, the social discipline in India stood out in comparison with many developed countries, which was the influence of the leadership and motivation.
"If we had created more than 15,000 dedicated facilities, with 1.5 million isolation beds, if more than a million Indians are tested daily by 7,000 centres, if Aarogya Setu was devised to facilitate contract testing, then it speaks volumes about our inherent capabilities," Jaishankar said.
He further added: "The challenge now is to take this ability to rise to the moment of crisis and transform that to more routine sets of practices and procedures, and I do believe that the India which will come out of the Covid crisis, will do just that."
The External Affairs Minister also spoke on the Vande Bharat mission, informing that nearly 24 lakh Indians have been repatriated from foreign nations.
"From Air India to the Indian Navy we pressed all our resources to achieve this goal. The intention was very simple, today's India will not leave an Indian abroad in distress," he added.
Jaishankar also commented on issues of climate change and state-sponsored terrorism during his keynote address.
Deccan Dialogue is an initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, hosted by the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
It has grown as an annual flagship event, aimed at promoting multi-stakeholder conversations on India's external engagement.
The third edition of Deccan Dialogue will deliberate on theme of 'Crisis and Cooperation: Imperative in the times of Pandemic'.
It is to help all stakeholders comprehend the changes and engage in a policy dialogue, where international, national and local stakeholders can come together to collectively brainstorm, address and respond to the crisis.