Modi tells SL Prez 'its neighbour first' when it comes to fighting Covid 19
Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering confirmed that India will provide vaccines for free
Bangladesh will receive 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' as a gift from India
As reports suggest that India's possible export of COVID-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hints at distributing Covid vaccines with the neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, a multi-ministerial meeting on Monday discussed various aspects of India's possible export of COVID-19 vaccines in view of requests from an increasing number of countries to procure the vaccines, people familiar with the development said.
Ministry of External Affairs said the ministries of health, commerce, external affairs and the Department of Pharmaceuticals are among the key stakeholders involved in the possible export of the vaccines.
MEA also said, several countries have approached India for the procurement of the vaccines. It is learnt that countries in India's neighbourhood are likely to get the supplies first.
On Thursday, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the government is assessing the production schedules and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, and any decision on their supply to other countries "may take some time".
"In so far as requests from countries for vaccines from India, you would recall that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has already stated that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting this crisis," he had said at a media briefing.
Covishield to be given to Bhutan for free
Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering on Monday confirmed that Indian government will provide COVID-19 vaccines to the country for free.
"GoI has announced that they will provide vaccines for free and if we have to procure vaccines then His Majesty has said he would even provide from his personal resources," PM Tshering was quoted by The Bhutanese.
"If we have to buy the vaccines then we may to spend USD 6 million. His Majesty was informed by the GoI that they value the old ties with Bhutan and will help Bhutan. We have told GoI that we plan to vaccinate the whole eligible population in one go and they said they understand," Tshering said.
Tshering further said that Bhutan was likely to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India. "It looks like we will get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India," he was quoted by the Bhutanese daily.
This comes after the Nepal Government approved the emergency use of the 'Covishield' vaccine last week, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The Indian side assured that the "requirements of Nepal would be in priority consideration after the roll-out of vaccines", said the Nepal Embassy following the approval of the vaccine.
India to gift 2 mln doses of 'Covishield' to Bangladesh
Bangladesh will receive 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' as a gift from India on January 20.
Citing the letter by the Indian High Commission written to the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dhaka Tribune reported that a special flight from India carrying the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, locally manufactured by Serum Institute of India, would land at Shahjalal International Airport on January 20.
The Health Services Division under the Ministry has issued a letter to the drug regulator the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) to take appropriate steps to administer the vaccine.
The vaccines will be received and stored at DGHS' facilities, such as the Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI), Dhaka Tribune further said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said that additional storage for the COVID-19 vaccines will be provided by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). On January 8, Bangladesh had approved the procurement of 30 million doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine from India
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