Other countries like Bangladesh and Nepal are likely to receive their supplies on Thursday.
India will start supplying hundreds of thousands of doses of ‘Covishield’ vaccine on a grant basis to key neighbours from Wednesday, beginning with 2,50,000 vaccine doses for Bhutan and Maldives. A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs stated that India would start supplying vaccines for COVID-19 in response to requests from neighbours and other partner countries.“In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to use India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of humanity fight the Covid pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from 20 January 2021,” said the press communique.
The first batch of 150,000 doses of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, will reach Thimpu on Wednesday morning. The second will reach Male international airport at around 2 pm with 100,000 doses of Covishield.
India fulfils commitment to give vaccines to humanity. Supplies to our neighbours will start on 20th January.The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the COVID challenge.#VaccineMaitri https://t.co/0pEW52ARe5— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 19, 2021
Bhutan prime minister Lotay Tshering had announced on Tuesday that once that government procures 1.2 million doses, it will immunise the entire eligible population of around 533,000 within a week.
Maldives also opened a registration drive for COVID-19 vaccination on Monday. India’s immediate supply will be for emergency use for frontline workers, people with co-morbidities and the elderly in the population. Besides, Maldives has also been pledged 4,00,000 doses of vaccine under COVAX. Separately, Maldives government has also signed an agreement with AstraZeneca Singapore, for vaccine supply.Other countries like Bangladesh and Nepal are likely to receive their supplies on Thursday.
The Bangladesh foreign ministry has already announced that the country will be receiving 2,00,000 doses from India.India will also be supplying free vaccine doses to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius after completing the necessary regulatory clearances.With having started an immunisation programme last weekend, the external affairs ministry had asserted that it would be “ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad”.
But MEA also assured that India would continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries “over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner”.Earlier on Tuesday, India also organised a training course on the immunisation programme’s administrative and operational aspects in several countries.