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WHO chief lauds Indian PM, says ‘Hope other countries follow your example’

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New York: When the whole world is grappling with the deadly coronavirus, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his commitment to support vaccine equity and sharing COVID-19 vaccines with over 60 countries across the world.

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Praising PM’s initiative to help other countries in this disastrous times, Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, on Thursday wrote a tweet stating that India’s support in supplying its vaccines is helping over 60 countries to begin the vaccination process.

“Thanks India & Prime Minister @narendramodi for supporting #VaccinEquity. Your commitment to #COVAX and sharing #COVID19 vaccine doses is helping 60+ countries start vaccinating their #healthworkers and other priority groups. I hope other countries will follow your example,” his tweet read.

It is to be mentioned that, India on Wednesday dispatched the first batch of six lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses to the African country of Ghana under the COVAX facility in collaboration with UNICEF, which aims to cover 92 countries under the noble initiative.

The vaccines are a part of the first batch the country is acquiring through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX), which Ghana among other 92 countries have signed into.

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on February 12 said that India has provided over 229 lakh doses of Covid vaccines to various countries out of which 64 lakh doses were supplied as grant assistance whereas 165 lakh were provided on commercial basis.

Talking about India’s plan to cover more countries in future under its Covid vaccine compaign, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India will continue to take forward the global vaccine supply initiative and cover more countries in a phased manner. He also said that consignments of coronavirus vaccine doses were supplied as gifts to Bangladesh (20 lakh), Myanmar (17 lakh), Nepal (10 lakh), Bhutan (1.5 lakh), the Maldives (1 lakh), Mauritius (1 lakh), Seychelles (50,000), Sri Lanka (5 lakh), Bahrain (1 lakh), Oman (1 lakh), Afghanistan (5 Lakhs), Barbados (1 Lakh) and Dominica (70,000).

Mr Srivastava further told that the countries which received vaccines on commercial basis are Brazil (20 lakh), Morocco (60 lakh), Bangladesh (50 lakh), Myanmar (20 lakh), Egypt (50,000), Algeria (50,000), South Africa (10 lakh), Kuwait (2 lakh) and UAE (2 lakh). Furthermore, vaccines are also being sent to Latin American countries.

India, the largest coronavirus vaccine producer in the world, is currently manufacturing two indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin. While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India in Pune, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.

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