India, EU need to act together to overcome the impact of COVID-19: EU envoy

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India and the European Union need to act together to overcome the impact of COVID-19 by fostering research in innovation and coming up with coordinated response to deal with the economic consequences of the crisis, EU’s Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto said on Wednesday.

Addressing a webinar on the EU-India cooperation in the post COVID-19 international environment, Astuto said the EU and India have converging interests and shared values and need to together unleash their full potential.

“We can succeed in overcoming this crisis if we act in a coordinated manner. We have to act together to meet the impact of the virus. We have to foster research in innovation and vaccines and we have to share best practices, we have to ensure that knowledge and expertise are invested and information is transparently shared,” he said.

“We will need a coordinated response in the wake of the crisis and also to face economic consequences of the crisis. We are all in this together and we must together address the situation,” Astuto added.

Speaking at the webinar, Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the Brussels-based think tank European Policy Centre, said there are a number of areas where the activities will not return to where they were after the COVID-19 crisis and global cooperation might come under pressure and there could be more challenges for multilateralism.

Shada Islam, Director of Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe think tank, said the coronavirus crisis has shown vulnerability of the global health system.

“In the post COVID-19 world, we need to build a massive health system. We need to work together for a vaccine and this crisis has shown the world the importance of migrants and health workers,” Islam said.

Harsh V Pant, Director, Studies and Head, Strategic Studies Programme, Observer Research Foundation, said the crisis has exposed the vulnerability of the global order and taught India to be self-reliant.

Fatalities due to coronavirus worldwide reached 2,57,454 while the number of cases stood at 3,667,165.

A record number of new cases on Tuesday pushed the nationwide COVID-19 tally closer to the 50,000-mark and the death toll crossed 1,600.

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