Neighbourhood First policy: India to start supplying of Covid vaccines to its neighbours from Wednesday

New Delhi, 19 January: Within a few days of the commencement of the Covid vaccination drive, India started providing vaccines to the world.

The government said that the country will start as a grant-in-aid to neighbouring countries, balancing its needs and global obligations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said in a tweet that India has been honoured as a long-term trusted partner in meeting the health needs of the global community. Covid vaccine supplies to many countries will start from tomorrow and will be increased in the coming days.

First of all, 1 lakh will be delivered to Maldives on Wednesday and 20 lakh doses of Covid 19 vaccines to Bangladesh on Thursday.

On the other hand, the Ministry of External Affairs has informed that the Government of India (GOI) has received several requests for supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and major partner countries. In keeping with India’s commitment to vaccine production and distribution capacity, supplies will be launched from tomorrow under grant-in-aid to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles. In relation to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius, India is still awaiting necessary regulatory approval.

The ministry says that India will continue supplying Covid-19 vaccines in a phased manner over the coming weeks and months, keeping in mind the domestic requirements of the rollout. It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers have sufficient stock to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad.

A training program covering the administrative and operational aspects prior to delivery of vaccines is being held on January 19–20 for vaccination managers, cold chain officers, communications officers and data managers at the national and provincial levels of recipient countries.

Nearly one lakh free doses of the Corona Vaccine Covishield of Serum Institute of India (SII) to Maldives will arrive via the ship at 2pm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, India has already provided assistance to Maldives in the Corona crisis through medicine and other supplies.

According to sources, this consignment of vaccine would be sufficient for the Corona warriors of Maldives with a population of about four and a half lakhs.

Over 20 lakh Covishield doses from India will reach Bangladesh’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Thursday; Bangladesh Foreign Ministry also confirmed this.

Covishield will then be sent under a commercial agreement between Bemsco Pharma and Serum Institute of India, Bangladesh.

The government told that India had previously supplied hydroxychloroquine, remediesvir and paracetamol tablets as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries during the Covid-19 epidemic.

India has provided training to several neighbouring countries to enhance and strengthen its clinical capabilities as part of its clinical trial program. Separately, several training courses have been organized for health workers and administrators from allied countries under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program, which share our experience in dealing with epidemics.

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