This year’s Hindustan Times Leadership Summit started with a session on Covid-19 and saw Dr Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Dr Ashish K Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, talk about the deadly contagion and raging pandemic that has gripped the planet for nearly a year now.
The opening session of the summit, ‘Covid-19: Where Do We Stand’, saw both Guleria and Jha converge their learning from working amid the pandemic, the challenges and the road ahead for India.
Jha was first to respond to Hindustan Times editor-in-chief, Sukumar Ranganathan’s query on the two big Covid-19 vaccine breakthroughs that came the past week and said he was, “thrilled, happy and delighted” by the developments.
“I have been very pleasantly surprised with what we are seeing with vaccines. Two or three weeks ago, I would have been happy with vaccines around 60 per cent effective, I dared not hope for 70 per cent and yet we have two vaccines, one from Moderna, one from Pfizer, that have both shown to be 95 per cent effective. That is incredible,” Jha said.
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Jha, however, pointed out that getting billions around the world vaccinated will be a challenge to tackle.
“We must not underestimate those challenges but we must still celebrate the scientific breakthrough and this good news,” Jha added.
The theme of this year’s virtual edition is ‘Defining a New Era’ as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. The live discussions with leaders across sectors will be spread over four weeks and will be held every Thursday and Friday.
Started in the year 2003, the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit aims to raise the level of discourse on critical issues, encourage interaction among leaders in important areas and present quality thought. The last seventeen summits witnessed leaders from India and across the world participating, exchanging their views and ideas for a better world.