NEW DELHI: Maldives and Bhutan will be the first recipients of Covid-19 vaccines from India, with the first shipment scheduled to land on January 20.
Maldives will receive 1,00,000 doses of Covishield vaccine and Bhutan will get 1,50,000 doses. India kicked off its vaccine diplomacy program with the immediate neighbourhood days after its started its own innoculation effort.
PM Modi took to Twitter to share the news, saying “India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community.”
India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supp… https://t.co/bLUHA0zV9B
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1611063542000
On Thursday, Bangladesh and Nepal will get their first consignments of vaccines. Myanmar and Seychelles will get theirs on Friday.
“In respect of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius, we are awaiting their confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances,” MEA said.
The vaccine consignments from India — under a grant assistance — is intended for frontline workers, the elderly and people with co-morbidities. Subsequent shipments will be on payment.
The vaccine exports will keep domestic demands in mind, government said.
MEA said, “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.”
Maldives, has, thus far been the largest COVID assistance recipient in India’s neighbourhood including medicine supply, food supply, medical team, training and financial assistance of $250 million. Bhutan, as India’s special partner received Rs 501 crore for their developmental projects to meet Covid challenges.
MEA said India would continue to “supply countries all over the world with vaccines. This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI’s Covax facility to developing countries.”
The Indian government is also conducting training programmes for the administration of the vaccines, which are being conducted on Jan 19-20 in all the recipient countries. The program covers “immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels.”
The statement said, India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries during the COVID19 pandemic.
“India has also provided training to several neighbouring countries to enhance and strengthen their clinical capabilities, under the Partnerships for Accelerating Clinical Trials (PACT) programme. Separately, several training courses have been organized for healthcare workers and administrators of partner countries under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, sharing our experience in dealing with the pandemic.”