In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, India has supplied hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and paracetamol to numerous countries. In December, over 60 foreign envoys visited biotech companies based in the city of Hyderabad to see the COVID-19 vaccine’s progress themselves.
In a first, India has dispatched 150,000 doses of Covishield, a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford, to neighbouring Bhutan as a “gift”.
India has also dispatched a second consignment containing 100,000 doses of Covishield to the Maldives.
Maharashtra: The first consignment of 1 lakh dosages of Covishield vaccine, by Serum Institute of India, to be dispatched from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to Malé in Maldives shortly.
— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2021
On Tuesday evening, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued an official statement that Delhi would supply vaccines for COVID-19 in response to neighbours and other partner countries’ requests.
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
“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”, the press communiqué stated.
Describing the move as “Vaccine Maitri” (Vaccine Friendship), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter and said his country would meet “the global community’s healthcare needs” by supplying COVID vaccines.
India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supplies of Covid vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead. #VaccineMaitri https://t.co/9Czfkuk8h7
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 19, 2021
India will also supply vaccines to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius after completing the necessary regulatory clearances.