India has provided 361.94 lakh doses of anti-coronavirus vaccines to various countries, out of which 67.5 lakh doses have been supplied as grant assistance and 294.44 lakh on commercial basis, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday. MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the supply of vaccines to countries will continue in the coming weeks and months in a phased manner but it will be ensured that domestic requirements for the national vaccination programme are kept in mind. “As of now, we have provided a total of 361.94 lakh doses to various countries. This includes 67.5 lakh doses supplied under grant assistance and 294.44 lakh doses under various commercial contracts,” he said at an online briefing.
Srivastava said India has also offered locally-made vaccines to all members of the diplomatic corps and their families based in the country.
“It has been offered not only to the diplomats of countries but also to those of UN agencies and intergovernmental organisations working in India. This drive will cover all the locations where they are based,” he said. To a question on the workshop on “COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward” with 10 neighbouring countries that was held on February 18 and addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Srivastava said among other things, the PM proposed a special visa scheme for doctors and nurses, a regional Air Ambulance agreement for medical contingencies, creation of a regional platform for collating, compiling and studying data about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
The prime minister also proposed creating a regional network for promoting technology-assisted epidemiology for preventing future pandemics, he said. Srivastava said these proposals were very well-received by the participating countries and follow-up action is being taken in consultation with ministries concerned.
India has sent consignments of anti-coronavirus vaccine doses as gifts to countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, Afghanistan, Barbados, and Dominica. Countries that received vaccines on a commercial basis include Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Kuwait, and the UAE.
In a major announcement, India on January 19 said it will send vaccines under grant assistance to several countries. India is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring anti-coronavirus vaccines.