Microsoft co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi commending his work in controlling the novel coronavirus outbreak in India.
"We commend your leadership and the proactive measures you and your government have taken to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 infection rate in India, such as adopting a national lockdown," Gates reportedly wrote.
India has been in a state of lockdown since March 25. On April 20th the lockdown was relaxed in a few specific areas.
Gates said that he was grateful to see that the Indian government was "seeking to balance public health imperatives with the need to ensure adequate social protection for all Indians".
Speaking about initiatives taken up by the Indian government, Gates praised measures implemented by the Modi-led Central government, including the expansion of "focused testing to identify hot spots for isolation, quarantining, and care, and significantly increasing health expenditures to strengthen the health system response and promote R&D and digital innovation".
"I’m glad your government is fully utilizing its exceptional digital capabilities in its COVID-19 response and has launched the Aarogya Setu digital app for coronavirus tracking, contact tracing, and to connect people to health services," Gates added.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as per their website, has committed $100 million for work on COVID-19 globally. Alongside, the foundation has set aside another $5 million to support efforts to combat the virus in the in the greater Seattle area of USA.
Recently, the billionaire philanthropist also said during an interview with talk talk show host Trevor Noah that his foundation was paying to construct facilities that would manufacture seven promising coronavirus vaccines. Gates said that the two best vaccines would then be picked up for final trials.
India has so far recorded over 20,400 cases and 652 deaths from the virus.