Date: Mar 03, 2020
The unprecedented scale and global impact of the virus demands the world to unite to fight biological disasters

The outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) has gripped the world in yet another healthcare and humanitarian crisis. The Corona virus’ scale and impact has been unprecedented in a series of similar other outbreaks witnessed in the recent past. According to reports, more than 2,000 confirmed deaths have been reported from China alone, with hundreds of deaths being registered daily in the Hubei province, which has emerged as the epicentre of the disease.

Global healthcare has made great strides in making vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics available to more people. Yet, infectious diseases continue to pose a significant threat in many parts of the world. Despite the global race to formulate an effective vaccine – from the west coast of the United States to eastern Australia, news emerging from across the world suggest that it will take much longer to develop a vaccine against this new pathogen.

SARS, Ebola, and Zika crises are only a few of the other recent outbreaks that draw attention to the weaknesses of global public health systems. In India, the recent epidemics of Nipah virus and acute encephalitis syndrome call attention to the important changes that need to be made in the country’s public health systems. The outbreaks—and the subsequent responses—show that despite advances, biomedical prevention and treatment remain inadequate in combatting these threats. Clearly, there are shortcomings of both national health ecosystems and international cooperation that the world can no longer afford to ignore.

To express solidarity with the people of China and to discuss the global response to devastating pandemics of such scale, the Observer Research Foundation, in collaboration with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China invite you to this multi-stakeholder panel discussion.


Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings

Mingtung Hsieh, Local Chinese community leader

Nilima Kshirsagar, National Chair for Clinical Pharmacology, ICMR

Oommen Kurian, Sr. Fellow & Head, Health Initiative, ORF

Pradeep Awate, Disease Surveillance Officer, Maharashtra

Rajeev Sadanandan, CEO, Health Systems Transformation Platform and former Additional Chief Secretary (Health), Kerala

Rajiv Ranjan, Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Institute for Global Studies, Shanghai University

RN Bhaskar, Senior journalist and author

Romil Pant, Sr. Vice President & Head – Holidays, Thomas Cook India

Sumit Mullick, Chief Information Commissioner, Maharashtra

Tang Guocai, Hon’ble Consul General, Consulate General of China in Mumbai

Veena Patil, Managing Director, Veena World*

Zheng Bin, CEO, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China


2:30 – 3:00 p.m. | Welcome & introductory remarks by Dhaval Desai

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. | Video clips from WHO and China

3:15 – 3:25 p.m. | Address by Tang Guocai

3:15 – 3:25 p.m. | Address by Sumit Mullick

3:35 – 4:50 p.m. | Panel Discussion | Overcoming health and social impacts| Oommen Kurian | Rajeev Sadanandan | Nilima Kshirsagar | Pradeep Awate | Mingtung Hsieh

4:50 – 6:00 p.m. | Panel Discussion | Managing the impact on international economy, trade & tourism | RN Bhaskar | Madan Sabnavis | Veena Patil* | Zheng Bin | Rajiv Ranjan | Romil Pant

6:00 p.m. onwards | High tea

Venue Address

Regal Room 3 & 4, Hotel Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai