The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Tuesday announced that India will be supplying Covid-19 vaccines to its neighbouring and key partner countries from January 20.
Countries including Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will be the first recipient countries to get the vaccines in a phased manner keeping in view the domestic requirements.
India is also waiting for required regulatory clearances from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius.
In a statement, the MEA said India has received several requests for the supply of Indian-manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries.
Just In: India to supply vaccines to neighbouring and key partner countries from tomorrow — Jan 20.
Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will be the 1st batch of countries to get the vaccines.@IndianExpress
— Shubhajit Roy (@ShubhajitRoy) January 19, 2021
“This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI’s Covax facility to developing countries,” the ministry said.
The announcement comes hours after it was reported that the Maldives will become the first country to receive the Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield) from India. The consignment is set to land at 2 pm at Velana International Airport, Malé via an Air India flight.
“It reaffirms India’s reputation as the first responder in any emergency situation,” a source familiar with the development had said.
The Maldives is the largest Covid-19 assistance recipient in India’s neighbourhood including medicine supply, food supply, medical team, training and financial assistance of $250 million.
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, and the Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.