India has applied for loans worth $2 billion (over Rs 14,956 crore) from Asian multilateral development banks to purchase Covid-19 vaccines, the Hindustan Times reported on Thursday.
The loans will be used to purchase about 667 million coronavirus vaccines, through which at least 317 million people in 19 states will be inoculated.
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank will provide a loan of $1.5 billion (about Rs 11,220 crore) while the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will provide another $500 million (about Rs 3,740 crore), DJ Pandian, the AIIB’s vice-president for investment operations, said.
The Indian government will reportedly invest $58 million (about Rs 433.83 crore) in the project.
The Union government has applied for the loan under the ADB’s Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility initiative, The Hindu reported. The initiative aims to support developing countries that are ADB members to procure and deliver coronavirus vaccines.
The doses, however, will have to be of vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation. While the global health body has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield, it has not yet cleared Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
So far, India has administered over 104.04 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses. On Wednesday, 49,09,254 shots were administered, according to the health ministry’s data.
The number of vaccines administered in the country crossed 100 crore on October 21.