Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Vaccine diplomacy: India helps its neighbours in ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative

Vaccination kicks off in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka to receive its consignment today.

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

In what is being called ‘vaccine diplomacy’ India has pledged to help seven of its neighbours in the fight against COVID-19. The gift, a part of India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative, will see its indigenously developed Covishield vaccine distributed in the region.

- Advertisement -

In line with Prime Minister Modi’s statement that India sees international cooperation in the area of fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as its duty, the Indian government has played the role of the first responder in the region.

Bangladesh began its vaccine rollout drive on Wed 27 Jan, and Sri Lanka is set to receive its consignment of 500,000 doses of the vaccine, today Thursday 28 Jan.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked the Government of India for the gift of two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine while virtually inaugurating the mass vaccination drive in the country.

A nurse named Runu Veronica Costa was administered the first vaccine dose in Bangladesh at the Kurmitola General Hospital (KGH) in Dhaka, watched virtually by the Prime Minister. Hasina also watched four others take the jab, before 21 more were vaccinated.

Hasina said, “We have been able to procure the vaccine in time. Today is a historic day for Bangladesh, as many countries in the world are yet to start inoculating their populations. But we’ve done it despite having a dense population and limited economic power.”

READ ALSO: Pregnant? What are your thoughts on the COVID vaccine?

The pandemic has already claimed more than 8,000 lives in Bangladesh. The nation has also bought 30 million doses of the vaccine from the Serum Institute of India and the first batch of 5 million shots has arrived.

Bangladesh will also get 6.80 crore vaccines for 20 per cent of its population, which means 3.40 crore people, from the WHO Covax facility.

To Sri Lanka, India has extended a USD 400 million currency swap facility to ensure financial stability of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Modi government also gifted approximately 26 tonnes of essential lifesaving medicines and equipment to Sri Lanka.

India was the first to send such a consignment onboard two special Air India aircrafts. The government also facilitated the repatriation of several hundred Sri Lankan citizens from various Indian cities.

Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Myanmar have also received their Covishield doses from India. Contractual supplies are also being undertaken to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Morocco and Myanmar besides Bangladesh.


READ ALSO: The Indian queens who modelled for the world’s first vaccine

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

sexual assault survivor, sexual assault counsellor, sexual assault victim

I’m a sexual assault counsellor. Here’s why it’s so hard for...

  As a senior sexual assault counsellor working with Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, I often sit across from people on the worst day of...
dee domingo and raj shekhawat

A tinnitus update on World Hearing Day

  World Hearing Day is celebrated on 3 March to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness along with promoting ear care. I spoke to...

Book Review: ‘Ritu weds Chandni’ by Ameya Narvankar

  "But what is wrong with that? Why shouldn't she marry Chandni didi?," asks Ayesha, the young protagonist in Ameya Narvankar's Ritu weds Chandni. The innocent...
axar patel indian cricket player

IND v ENG: A historic Test… for all the wrong reasons

  The only bigger joke than the wicket prepared for the 3rd cricket Test between England and India at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium, was the renaming...
Queer support group Trikone Australia’s Alan Maurice, Kunal Mirchandani and Ravin chat with Bageshri Savyasachi

South Asians talking about Mardi Gras

  Pride week has already begun in Australia! Since Sydney's fabulous Mardi Gras parade is coming up this weekend, I had a chat with members...