India has ‘tremendous capacities’, says WHO official on coronavirus

New Delhi (NVI): India has “tremendous capacities” to combat coronavirus, a top official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said and cited the examples the country set by eliminating two other “silent killers” – Small Pox and Polio.

Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, said that as the coronavirus continues to spread, the future of this pandemic to a great extent will be determined by how India deals with the challenge.

He said it was very important that India continues to take aggressive action at public health level and at the level of the society to contain spread of this disease and save lives.

“India, like China, is a hugely populous countries and the future of this pandemic to a greater extent will determined by what happens in very large and densely-populated country,” Ryan said.

“India has tremendous capacities,” the official said.

“India led the world in eradicating two silent killers – small pox, one of the great successes of mankind. (It killed) more people on the planet than all the wars put together. India, through targeted political intervention, ended that disease and gave a gift to the world,” he recalled.

He added that India also eliminated polio, another silent killer and did a tremendous job.

Ryan emphasised the need for mobilising communities and the civil society in this direction to fight coronavirus.