New Delhi: India announced that it will be sending a ‘gift’ of COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka next week. Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced, the vaccine will reach the country on January 27.
The country will be getting 500,000 doses of “made-in-India” Covishield vaccine. Sri Lanka becomes the eighth nation to receive India’s gift of COVID-19 vaccines since it began its country-wide mega immunization program on January 16.
Starting Wednesday, India has gifted vaccines to seven countries in the region as part of its neighbourhood first policy, to Bhutan 150,000 doses, to Maldives 100,000 doses, to Nepal around 1 million doses, to Bangladesh around 2 million doses, Myanmar received 1.5 million doses, Seychelles was goven 50,000 doses while Mauritius was gifted 100,000 COVID-19 doses.
India was so far waiting for regulatory approval from Sri Lankan and Afghan authorities. The Sri Lanka’s drugs regulatory body — National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) gave a go ahead to Oxford Astrazeneca’s vaccine on Friday.
The Indian embassy on Sri Lanka had welcomed the development, tweeting, “his clears the way for scheduling delivery of the vaccine from #India to #lka”
Welcome emergency use approval of COVISHIELD vaccines by Government of Sri Lanka. This clears the way for scheduling delivery of the vaccine from #India to #lka . #VaccineMaitri #AffordableVaccine4All @MEAIndia @MFA_SriLanka @GotabayaR @PresRajapaksa
— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) January 22, 2021
The first jabs are expected to be given to health care workers in the country. Colombo is expected to procure more India manufactured vaccines commercially later.
Sri Lankan Healthcare Personnel were among the personnels of 13 countries who India trained last week.
For two days, on Jaunary 19 and 20, India trained foreign personnels in administering COVID vaccines. These were from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Bahrain, Brazil, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.
As part of Indian Navy’s mission sagar 1, India has provided medicine to Sri Lanka. India supported 1990 Emergency Ambulance service also helped the country in a major way to deal with the COVID crisis.