Coronavirus vaccines sent by India reach Bhutan and the Maldives

Representational image

Bhutan and Maldives on Wednesday became the first two countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines sent by India in sync with its 'neighbourhood first' policy.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shared on Twitter photos of the consignments reaching the two countries.

On Tuesday, India had said it would send COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday.

The supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will commence after confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.

It is learnt that 1,50,000 doses of Covisheild vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), were sent to Bhutan and 1,00,000 doses reached Maldives as part of India's grant assistance.

"Indian vaccines reach Maldives, reflects our special friendship," Jaishankar tweeted along with a photograph of the consignments.

"#VaccineMaitri begins. Consignment arrives in Bhutan. Another example of #NeighbourhoodFirst," he said in another tweet.

India is one of the world's biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring coronavirus vaccines.

The Ministry of External Affairs had said on Tuesday that India would supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner, keeping in view the domestic requirements.

India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.

While Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.

The MEA said it will be ensured that domestic manufacturers have adequate stocks to meet the country's requirements while supplying abroad.

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 to help them deal with the pandemic.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel