After Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for exporting the Covid-19 vaccine, Director-General of World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked India for its continued support to global Covid-19 response.
“Thank you, India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for your continued support to global Covid-19 response. Only if we act together, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods,” Tedros said on Saturday.
Thank you #India and Prime Minister @narendramodi for your continued support to the global #COVID19 response. Only if we #ACTogether, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 23, 2021
Bolsonaro had thanked India by tweeting an image of the Hindu god Hanuman carrying the the vaccines to Brazil, in a reference to the Ramayana incident where the god carries the sanjeevni plant to save Lakshman’s life.
– Namaskar, Primeiro Ministro @narendramodi – O Brasil sente-se honrado em ter um grande parceiro para superar um obstáculo global. Obrigado por nos auxiliar com as exportações de vacinas da Índia para o Brasil.- Dhanyavaad! धनयवाद pic.twitter.com/OalUTnB5p8
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 22, 2021
India shipped the first consignments of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine which is being developed by the Serum Institute of India to Brazil and Morocco on Friday. Several countries across the world have requested for the jab which is being exported by India.
The US State Department had also lauded India’s efforts in distributing the shots. “We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India’s free shipments of vaccine began w/Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and will extend to others. India’s a true friend using its pharma to help the global community,” it said in a tweet.
India on Thursday officially handed over 2 million doses of domestically produced Covishield vaccine to Bangladesh free of cost. It is also exporting the shots to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles manufactured by SII, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer.
Prime Minister Modi has said India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used for the benefit of all humanity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He said last week India was ready to do everything possible for a healthy planet.
On January 19, India announced its grant assistance of vaccines to the neighbouring countries. A day after, 1.5 lakh doses of vaccines were supplied to Bhutan and one lakh doses to the Maldives as grant assistance. Over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were provided to Bangladesh and 1 million doses to Nepal. India, one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive using two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin.
Covishield has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and is being manufactured by Serum Institute of India. Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research. India on Friday began commercial exports and sent two million doses of domestically manufactured Covishield vaccine to Brazil.
India has undertaken contractual supplies of coronavirus vaccines to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Friday. Several countries have already approached India for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.
Earlier, India had supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, the current global COVID-19 caseload and death toll stood at 98,129,394 and 2,105,056, respectively.