PM Modi asks EU to back India, South Africa on patent waiver for Covid vaccines | India News

PM Modi asks EU to back India, South Africa on patent waiver for Covid vaccines | India News
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday “invited” EU to support proposal by India and South Africa to waive patents on Covid-19 vaccines.
The Prime Minister on Saturday virtually joined the meeting of European Council, as a special invitee at the invitation of European Council President, Charles Michel.
In October last year, India and South Africa, along with 57 members of WTO proposed a waiver from certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19.

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property.
The proposed relaxations in the norms of the agreement are aimed at ensuring quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries.

India’s ongoing second wave of the Covid-19, with the country registering over 3 lakh cases for more than 2 weeks, has led to renewed calls from many, including Pope Francis, for a waiver on patents relating to the Covid-19 vaccines.
United States policy reversal, backing the waiver of intellectual property protection on Covid-19 vaccines, has further upped the pressure on European Union to follow suit.
Its leaders however, have so far stayed away from supporting the proposal.
Germany chancellor Angela Merkela has said Covid-19 vaccine patent waver “could impact quality” and has asked US to export vaccines to other countries to meet global shortage.
“We don’t think, in the short term, that it’s the magic bullet,” said EU Council President Charles Michel on the second day of an EU summit in Portugal. French President Emmanuel Macron insisted that giving any priority to discussing intellectual property rights now, “is a false debate.”
(With agency inputs)

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