Nepal and Bangladesh receive coronavirus vaccines sent by India

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NEW DELHI, Jan 21 (PTI): India on Thursday delivered two million doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bangladesh and one million doses to Nepal under grants assistance as it prepares to send similar supplies to Myanmar and Seychelles.

It is learnt that a consignment containing 1.5 million doses of Covisheild vaccines will reach Myanmar on Friday.

“Nepal receives Indian vaccines. Putting neighbours first, putting people first!” external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter.

“Touchdown in Dhaka. #VaccineMaitri reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh,” he said in another tweet.

The Indian High Commission in Dhaka tweeted that a “gift of 2 million” made-in-India Covid-19 vaccine was handed over to Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K A Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque by Indian envoy Vikram Doraiswami.

The Indian embassy in Kathmandu said a total of one million doses of vaccines was handed over to Nepal in reflection of India’s abiding friendship and commitment towards the people of the country.

On Wednesday, India sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives.

In a major announcement, India on Tuesday had said that it will send Covid-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday and supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will commence after confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.

India is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.

India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.

While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.

The MEA said it will be ensured that domestic manufacturers have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad.

India had earlier 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.

Sources said training in administering Covid-19 vaccines was provided to healthcare professionals of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Bahrain, Brazil, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Seychelles and Sri Lanka on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They said national and provincial-level officials, people handling cold chains and partners from WHO and UNICEF were part of the training.

“The key topics covered were Covid-19 disease and vaccines, conducting Covid-19 vaccination, logistics and cold chain management, safe injection practices and waste management,” said a source.

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