The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan presided over a meeting of the Bureau of the Executive Board as Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO). The main agenda of the meeting was the finalization if dates of the 32nd session of Program, Budget, and Administration Committee (PBAC) and the resumed session of 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA 73) and 147th Executive Board 147 ( EB147).

The meeting was conducted virtually. The Bureau also included the Vice-Chair of the Executive Board and the Director-General of WHO. There were senior officials of WHO and other observer participants who were also present. At the beginning of the meeting, he welcomed the participants of the meeting. Dr. Harsh Vardhan expressed his deep condolences and concern at the loss of thousands of lives due to the global pandemic.

Almost four months ago, WHO had declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic that infected around 17 million people across the globe. An estimation of more than 662 thousand people has lost their life due to the ongoing pandemic. The global pandemic has not only caused damage to life and health but has seriously affected the economy across the globe. 

Due to the global pandemic across the globe, the world has now realized the significance of health and the need for greater cooperation among the countries to control the risks and dangers that are being caused by various communicable and non-communicable diseases. Dr. Harsh Vardhan further said that in the era of globalization, when the world is a large home to all humanity, the risk, and challenge to spread of disease is even bigger since it does not distinguish between the boundaries of countries.

He requested the members of the WHO to establish multi-sectoral collaboration to mobilize and galvanize global response, support, and cooperation to fight both communicable and non-communicable diseases more effectively. He highlighted the importance of the mutual need to come together to be more responsive in terms of managing the new challenges faced to ensure a timely, adequate, and coordinated global response.

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