India will provide coronavirus vaccines made in the country to six nations - Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles - from Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. Vaccines will be sent to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius as well, once necessary regulatory clearances are received, the ministry added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a matter of honour and that vaccines will be sent to more countries. “India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community,” he tweeted. “Supplies of Covid vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead.”
Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also tweeted saying that India had fulfilled its commitment to provide vaccines to other countries.
In its release, the foreign ministry said that India will provide vaccines to partner countries over the coming months in a phased manner keeping in view the domestic requirements. The ministry said prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, is being conducted on January 19 and 20 for immunisation managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries.
On January 16, India launched its vaccination programme against coronavirus, after clearing two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, for emergency use. A total of 6,31,417 healthcare workers had been vaccinated till 6 pm on Tuesday, according to ANI.