Sri Lanka is not among the neighbouring and key partner countries to which India today commenced the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, as India is awaiting confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances from SL.
According to a statement issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs yesterday, the country will supply vaccines manufactured in India to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles starting today. However, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius are yet to confirm regulatory clearances.
The supply of vaccines will be carried out in phases over the coming weeks and months, ensuring domestic manufacturers will have adequate stock to meet domestic requirements while also supplying to neighbouring and key partner countries.
According to the statement, a training program covering administrative and operational aspects was carried out yesterday and today for immunisation managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels, prior to the delivery of vaccines. “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 during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read, adding that India will continue to supply countries across the world with vaccines.
“This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI’s Covax facility to developing countries,” the statement went on to say.
Meanwhile, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday tweeted, “India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supplies of COVID vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead.”
On 17 January, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweeted, “My heartiest congratulations to Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi on the successful roll out of the #COVID19 vaccine and his generosity towards friendly neighbouring countries.”