HTLS 2020: ‘Wanted to be prepared for a pandemic ever since heard Bill Gates’ TED talk,’ says Poonawalla

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive officer of Serum Institute of India, said that he wanted to be prepared for a “pandemic level event” ever since he heard Bill Gates in a TED talk. Poonawalla’s comments came during the second session of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit; Day 1, ‘Covid-19: Where Do We Stand’.

“I wanted to be prepared for a pandemic level event ever since I heard Bill Gates in a TED talk where he clearly said that we should be more worried and prepared for such situations,” Poonawalla told HT’s health and science editor, Sanchita Sharma, on Thursday.

WATCH | How long to control Covid-19 pandemic? Top doctors respond on #HTLS2020 

Poonawalla was referring to Gates’ moving TED Talk few years ago wherein he warned against the possible rise of an infectious disease, also pointing out the state of ill-preparedness against such an event.

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

“If anything kills over 10 million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now, part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents. But we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic,” Gates had said.

During the summit, Poonawalla shared that the Oxford vaccine will take about 3-4 months to be made available to the public and could cost between Rs 500-600. However, he said that it could take a few more years before every Indian is vaccinated and protected against the deadly virus.

“It will be 2024, till everybody will get vaccinated and protected,” he noted.

Speaking on the possible “side-effects” of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, Poonawalla said, some of the mild symptoms that were noted across different age groups included, “fever, weakness, headache, normal cold”, which went away in a day or two after giving paracetamol, he said.

The first session of Day 1 of the HT Leadership Summit saw Hindustan Times editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan discuss the pandemic and its many aspects with Dr Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Dr Ashish K Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.

While Dr Guleria described India as a “resilient nation” in the face of the raging pandemic, he also called more investment in the public sector and involvement of healthcare professionals. Dr Jha, on the other hand, warned against the challenge of making the Covid-19 vaccine accessible to all. The experts also expressed delight and excitement over the breakthrough in Covid-19 vaccine recently reported by leading pharmaceutical giants Moderna and Pfizer.

Disclaimer: This post has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed. The Original Source of this post can be found at Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


HDK pulls up govt. over lack of preparedness

Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who on Tuesday participated in the all-party meeting convened by the Governor, said that...

Coronavirus | Tripura imposes night curfew; ₹1,000 fine for social distancing...

Tripura government on Wednesday imposed night curfew, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. till April 30, and enforced several measures amid fresh wave of...

LSGIs to spearhead COVID-19 management in Kerala

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said ward-level committees of local self-government institutions (LSGIs) comprising elected members, ASHA worker, Health Department staff, the police, and volunteers...

All-time high of 22,414 fresh cases

Kerala’s new augmented mass testing strategy, to test as many people as possible and to remove all COVID-19 infectious persons from the community to...

Bombing in hotel parking lot kills at least 4 in SW...

It was unclear who was behind the bombing at Serena Hotel. A powerful bomb exploded in the parking area of a luxury hotel in...

More Articles