The UN Resident Coordinator in India, Ms Renata Dessallien welcomed Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s strategy for a nation-wide 21-day lockdown to curtail the coronavirus pandemic. She also
commended the Prime Minister’s call for social distancing, an important step that is expected to
help flatten the curve.
“The UN system in India is fully mobilized and ready to further step up its support to the
Government of India to fight COVID-19. I believe that if we work together, we can overcome one of
the greatest health threats of our lifetimes,” said Ms. Dessallien.
UN agencies, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, are at the forefront of our
COVID-19 response and is working with government, both at the centre and state, on preparedness
and response measures, disease surveillance, laboratory and research protocols, risk
communications, training on infection prevention and control and cluster containment plan,
surveillance and tracking of travellers.
On 24 March, Ms. Dessallien, along with WHO Representative to India, Dr Henk Bekedam, met the
Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan and commended the government for its
“early and robust response”, taking a whole-of-government approach to tackle the pandemic head
on. They also discussed measures to reduce stigma and stereotype.
The UN in India remains active and is determined to deliver for the people we serve, especially the
most vulnerable and disadvantaged, who may be amongst the hardest hit.