An Indian-made vaccine registration platform and tracking app will be made available to the whole world, the country announced Monday.
The COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (CoWIN) and Aarogya Setu app will also be usable by other countries as soon as it is technically feasible, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the CoWIN Global Conclave in New Delhi.
He said the most important lesson that the virus has taught everyone is that all countries have to work together as “experience shows that no nation, however powerful it is, can solve a challenge like this in isolation.”
Urging the whole world to cooperate, Modi said: “We have to learn from each other and guide each other about our best practices.”
Touting India’s transparency during the pandemic, he said technology is integral for India’s fight against the virus.
“Software is one area in which there are no resource constraints. That is why India made Aarogya Setu, its COVID tracing and tracking mobile app, open source as soon as it was technically feasible,” stressed Modi.
India will now provide CoWIN, a vaccine registration platform, as a digital public interest to other countries to carry out their own vaccine drives against coronavirus and other diseases, he stressed.
Modi also said through CoWIN, people won’t have to carry “fragile pieces of paper” to prove anything about their vaccination process as the app registers and shows everything necessary.
“In today’s globalized world, if the post-pandemic world has to return to normalcy, such a digital approach is essential. After all, people must be able to prove that they have been vaccinated. Such proof must be safe, secure and trustworthy.
“People must also have a record of when, where, and by whom they have been vaccinated,” he noted.
The software can be customized to any country according to its local requirements, he added.
“With nearly 200 million users, this Aarogya Setu app is a readily available package for developers. Having been used in India, you can be sure that it has been tested in the real world for speed and scale.”
Universal vaccination drive
The CoWIN Global Conclave aims to share India’s experience in universal vaccination to combat the disease, according to the National Health Authority (NHA).
“India is excited to join hands with the world to win COVID-19 together with CoWIN,” Ram Sewak Sharma, who heads the authority, said in a statement.
Addressing the gathering, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla said the CoWIN platform can be adapted and scaled up for health interventions worldwide.
“We stand ready to make the CoWIN platform available to our partner countries,” he said.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also spoke on both the platform and India’s progress fighting the pandemic.
“This unique digital platform records each and every vaccination event,” said Vardhan, adding that India has so far administered over 350 million doses.
India started its nationwide vaccination drive this January, giving doses in phases. Currently, people 18 and older are getting shots.
To speed up the vaccination drive, on June 21 the government started giving jabs to all adults 18 and older free at vaccination centers.
The government is planning to vaccinate all adult citizens by the end of 2021.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 3.97 million lives across the world, with nearly 184 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries.