India is undertaking contractual supplies of coronavirus vaccines to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing that India has so far sent consignments of coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Seychelles.
Asked whether India is sending the vaccines to Pakistan, Srivastava said he was not aware of any request for their supply by Pakistan on a government-to-government basis or commercial basis. He said commercial shipments of the vaccines have already been dispatched to Brazil and Morocco on Friday.
On Wednesday, India sent 1,50,000 doses of Covisheild vaccine to Bhutan and 1,00,000 doses to the Maldives as grant assistance. India on Thursday delivered two million doses of Covisheild vaccine to Bangladesh and one million doses to Nepal under grants assistance, while a consignment containing 1.5 million doses was sent to Myanmar, 50,000 doses to Seychelles on Friday.
“Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” Srivastava said.
Srivastava said supplies of coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance will be made to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan after getting confirmation of regulatory clearances. “Acting East. Acting fast. Indian vaccines have arrived in Myanmar to contribute to our neighbour’s inoculation efforts,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted. “Indian vaccines reach Seychelles. That’s what friends are for,” he said in another tweet.
In a major announcement, India on Tuesday said 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, and Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.
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.