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BRICS countries support use of science-based methods to figure out origins of coronavirus

The leaders of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) emphasized the importance of using science-based methods to figure out the origins of the coronavirus, according to the New Delhi Declaration adopted at the 13th BRICS summit on Thursday.

"We note that the cooperation on study of origins of the SARS-COV-2 is an important aspect of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We support science-based, inclusive of broad expertise, transparent, and timely processes, free from politicization or interference, to strengthen international capabilities to better understand the emergence of novel pathogens and to help prevent future pandemics," the document reads.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to wreak immeasurable political, economic, and social damage globally for almost two years," the leaders noted, calling "for better international preparedness and enhanced cooperation to fight the pandemic and other current and future health challenges through the mobilization of political support and necessary financial resources."

"We emphasize that the international community has a collective responsibility to work together against the COVID-19 pandemic in the true spirit of partnership within existing international frameworks including the WHO," the declaration says.

The leaders of BRICS countries also appreciate cooperation between the five nations in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"We note with satisfaction intra-BRICS cooperation to strengthen preparedness and response to the pandemic, including in vaccine cooperation and welcome the progress towards the early launch of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre in a virtual format. We support the progress towards establishing a BRICS Integrated Early Warning System for preventing mass infectious diseases risks, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005), and the WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, for identifying future pandemics and forecasting outbreaks through institutional collaboration," the document reads.

"We stress the importance of international efforts on mutual recognition of national documents of vaccination against COVID-19 and respective testing, especially for purpose of international travel," the declaration added.

"We congratulate India for convening the BRICS Digital Health Summit and welcome its outcomes, including on strengthening cooperation on application at the national-level of digital health systems for a singular multi-faceted holistic framework with simple user interface across all platforms and with safeguarded data, as well as on pandemic management by leveraging digital technologies," the BRICS leaders said.

They also reiterated their "commitment to enhance BRICS cooperation in addressing other health challenges, including through developing effective joint responses to the continuing spread of major diseases, specially Tuberculosis (TB), and commend the work done by the BRICS TB Research Network in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic."

[Source: Tass, New Delhi, 09Sep21]

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