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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 21 January, 2021

  • 10 Min Read

India sends COVID-19 vaccines to 6 countries: Vaccine diplomacy and SAARC

India sends COVID-19 vaccines to 6 countries: Vaccine diplomacy and SAARC

  • India on Wednesday began the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to six “neighbouring and key partner countries”. They are Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

  • The delivery began with two special flights carrying the first consignments of Covishield to the Maldives and Bhutan. Sources said Bangladesh and Nepal will receive two large consignments of the same vaccine on Thursday followed by supplies to Myanmar and the Seychelles.
  • As part of the vaccine diplomacy, a consignment of 1,50,000 doses reached Thimphu on Wednesday. Bhutan is the first country to receive the vaccine manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
  • The vaccine is part of an overall programme to build Bhutanese capacity to fight the pandemic. On the request of Bhutan, India has also fast tracked the release of Rs. 501 crore for Thimphus reprioritised projects to meet the emerging challenges caused by the pandemic.
  • Later, a consignment of 1,00,000 doses was received at the Male airport by Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Health Minister Ahmed Naseem.
  • Maldives is [among] the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s a gift from India. India has proved to be a solid friend of the Maldives. India gave us support when our students had to be evacuated from Wuhan in China. In these difficult circumstances, India is the first country. We thank India for supporting us always in our challenging moments,” Mr. Shahid said.
  • In a press statement, the High Commission of India in Male said, “India gifted 1,00,000 doses of the India-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine to the Maldives today to meet the immediate requirements of vaccinating healthcare workers, frontline workers and those with co-morbidities.”
  • India will ‘gift’ one million doses of Covishield to Nepal and two million doses to Dhaka.
  • The Health Department of Bangladesh had earlier announced that it was expecting the vaccine on Wednesday but the delivery was finally slotted for Thursday. Nepal said the announcement of the ‘gift’ of the vaccine from India is a ‘wonder’.
  • The announcement came days after Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali placed requirement of the India-manufactured vaccine to fight the pandemic in the Himalayan country.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday declared that India will continue to supply vaccine to “neighbouring and key partner countries”, “keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased roll-out”.
  • “It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” said the Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday informing that India has also carried out capacity building and training workshops for neighbouring countries.

For complete news on SAARC: click here

Source: TH


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