Updated: January 23, 2021 6:37:16 pm
As India supplies Covid vaccines to countries in South Asia, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Friday said that the government is also undertaking contractual supplies of coronavirus vaccines to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
“Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told the media.
India is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers and has already sent consignments of coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to several countries in South Asia.
The country has rolled out a massive vaccination drive, under which two vaccines–Covishield and Covaxin–are being administered to frontline health workers across the country. While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute in Pune, Covaxin has been produced by Bharat Biotech.
Here we take a look at the countries where assistance has reached from India.
Maldives and Bhutan
Maldives and Bhutan were amongst the first nations to get vaccines from India. On January 20, India had sent 1,50,000 doses of Covisheild vaccine to Bhutan and 1,00,000 doses to the Maldives as grant assistance.
The Maldives is the largest Covid-19 assistance recipient in India’s neighbourhood, including medicine supply, food supply, medical team, training and financial assistance of $250 million.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 20, 2021
Reacting on the development, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said, “A short while ago, a flight from India with 1,00,000 doses of the CoviShield vaccine arrived in the Maldives, renewing our hopes for a resolution to the Covid 19 crisis soon. Our heartfelt thanks to PM Narendra Modi, government and people of India for this most generous gift”.
Foreign Minister of Bhutan, too, expressed gratitude. “Our profound gratitude to the Government of India for the generous gift of 1,50,000 doses of Covishield vaccines that Bhutan received today,” Bhutan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs said.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 20, 2021
“Deeply grateful to India for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutan’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
India officially handed over 2 million doses of domestically produced Covishield vaccine to Bangladesh on Thursday. The vaccines come at a crucial time for Bangladesh as the nation witnessed a rise in a number of coronavirus cases.
Apart from the current delivery of vaccines, Bangladesh also plans to purchase another 3 crore doses of India-made coronavirus vaccine. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for sending the vaccine as a gift to Bangladesh.
“I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sending the vaccine (batch) as a gift,” Hasina said during an online international conference held on the occasion of the 100th founding anniversary of the University of Dhaka on Thursday, news agency PTI reported.
Bangladesh has so far recorded over 8,000 Covid-19 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year.
India on Thursday handed over one million doses of coronavirus vaccine to Nepal under grant assistance in sync with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra handed over the vaccine consignment to Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli during a function at the Prime Minister’s residence at Baluwatar, PTI reported.
Nepal last week gave conditional approval to use Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The approval coincided with the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission in New Delhi which was attended by Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.
I thank Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji as well as the Government and people of India for the generous grant of one million doses of COVID vaccine to Nepal at this critical time when India is rolling out vaccination for it’s own people. pic.twitter.com/uO7qQpLiSx
— K P Sharma Oli (@kpsharmaoli) January 21, 2021
During the meeting, Nepal congratulated India on the remarkable success in the production of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines and requested for early provision of vaccines to Nepal.
India also dispatched coronavirus vaccine to Myanmar and Seychelles on Friday. While a consignment of 1,00,000 doses of the Covishield vaccines were sent to Mauritius, a consignment of 50,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine were dispatched to Seychelles.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 22, 2021
“Indian vaccines reach Seychelles. That’s what friends are for,” Minister S Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Sri Lanka expects to receive the Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, next week, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. “We do not have to wait longer than the 27 of this month to receive a quantity of free vaccines from India,” he said Saturday.
Sri Lanka on Friday approved the emergency use of Covishield vaccine.
Welcome emergency use approval of COVISHIELD vaccines by Government of Sri Lanka. This clears the way for scheduling delivery of the vaccine from #India to #lka . #VaccineMaitri #AffordableVaccine4All @MEAIndia @MFA_SriLanka @GotabayaR @PresRajapaksa
— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) January 22, 2021
Apart from this, Sri Lanka also plans buy Covid-19 vaccines from Russia ad China.
As India began its vaccine drive on January 16, Rajapaksa had tweeted his congratulations to PM Narendra Modi “on the successful roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine and his generosity towards friendly neighbouring countries”.
On Friday, India also began commercial exports and sent two million doses each to Brazil and Morocco. India is also currently awaiting confirmation of regulatory clearance in Afghanistan, following which vaccines would be supplied.
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