Fri, 26 Feb 2021

Washington [US], January 23 (ANI): The United States on Friday "applauded" India for gifting COVID-19 vaccines to several countries including the Maldives, Bhutan and Bangladesh, saying New Delhi is a "true friend" which is using its pharma industry to help the global community.

Taking to Twitter, the State SCA (the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in US State Department) said: "We applaud India's role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India's free shipments of the vaccine began with Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and will extend to others. India's a true friend using its pharma to help the global community."In the last few days, India has supplied COVID-19 vaccines, being manufactured in the country, to neighbouring countries including Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used for the benefit of all humanity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

On January 19, New Delhi announced its grant assistance of vaccines to the neighbouring countries. On January 20, 1.5 lakh doses of vaccines were supplied to Bhutan and one lakh doses to the Maldives as grant assistance.

On Thursday, New Delhi supplied 10 lakh doses to Nepal and 20 lakh doses to Bangladesh.

Large consignments of Covishield vaccine doses were flown in special Indian aircraft to Seychelles, Mauritius and Myanmar on Friday.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that the supplies of COVID-19 vaccine as grant assistance to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will be undertaken after receiving confirmation of regulatory clearances from these two countries.

Contractual supplies are also being undertaken to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

India 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. Meanwhile, Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). (ANI)

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