Maldives and Bhutan became the first two countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines from India under grant assistance in sync with its 'neighbourhood first' policy. The consignments of Serum Institute of India's Covishield for Nepal and Bangladesh arrived at Mumbai Int'l Airport
The consignments of Serum Institute of India's Covid 19 vaccines Covishield that contains 10 lakh dosages to be dispatched to Kathmandu and 20 lakh dosages to Dhaka, arrived at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in the wee hours of Thursday.
From Mumbai Airport, the flight for Kathmandu is scheduled to take off at 6:40 am while the flight for Dhaka is scheduled for 8 am.
India's Ministry of External Affairs had announced a vaccine rollout for Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday which comes in line with its Neighbourhood First Policy.
Nepal and Bangladesh will receive the doses today. First consignments already sent to Bhutan and Maldives.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shared on Twitter photos of the consignments reaching the two countries.
India fulfils commitment to give vaccines to humanity. Supplies to our neighbours will start on 20th January.
India will provide one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal under grant assistance, the Minister for Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi said. The first installment of the vaccines will be shipped on Thursday.
Apart from the latest round of vaccines to Nepal, India earlier had provided Nepal with medical equipment, medicines and other logistical support to fight the pandemic. The Nepal Government plans to inoculate 72 percent of its citizens, a country that has a population of nearly 30 million.
In the first phase, the vaccines will be administered to frontline health workers, employees and security personnel, according to the minister.
Bangladesh will get 2 million doses as a gift
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.
On January 8, Bangladesh had approved the procurement of 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' from India. Meanwhile, India will send 2 million doses as a gift to the country.
Bhutan has received Covishield doses
An Indian Air Force aircraft delivered the first consignment of 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Bhutan, making it the first country to receive the gift from India, which was received by Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.
Bhutanese Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji thanked India for the "generous gift".
"Our profound gratitude to the GoI for the generous gift of 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines that Bhutan received today. Deeply grateful to GoI for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutan's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," he said on Twitter.
Former Bhutan Prime Minister and People's Democratic Party President Tshering Tobgay on Wednesday expressed "profound gratitude" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for gifting COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
"My profound gratitude to PM Narendra Modi and people of India for gifting COVID-19 vaccines despite their own pressing needs. This comes at a critical time in our fight against the COVID pandemic, and bears testimony to the strong friendship between our two countries and peoples," Tshering Tobgay wrote in a tweet.
Maldives was one of the first two countries to receive Covishied
Maldives became the first of the two countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines from India under grants assistance in sync with its 'neighbourhood first' policy.
On Wednesday, India sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives.
In a tweet, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the vaccines.
"A short while ago, a flight from India with a 100,000 doses of the CoviShield vaccine arrived in the Maldives, renewing our hopes for a resolution to the Covid 19 crisis soon. Our heartfelt thanks to PM @narendramodi," he said.