India will begin commercial shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to Saudi Arabia soon, the Ministry of External Affairs here announced today.
Among other Arab countries which have asked for vaccines from India is Morocco and supplies to Rabat will also start soon. "Contractual supplies are being undertaken to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar," Anurag Srivastava, Spokesman for the Ministry, said at a briefing on India’s vaccine cooperation with the international community.
Such cooperation is based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policy that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting the pandemic crisis caused by Coronavirus.
"There is interest in many countries in accessing vaccines from India which has become the global hub for vaccine production," Srivastava said. Following Modi’s policy, India embarked on sending vaccines to neighbouring countries as part of its aid on 20th January.
"On the first day, 150,000 doses of vaccines were sent to Bhutan as assistance and 100,000 doses to Maldives, also as assistance. Yesterday, supplies of one million doses to Nepal and two million doses to Bangladesh were undertaken. Today, consignments of 1.5 million doses for Myanmar, 100,000 doses to Mauritius and 50,000 doses to Seychelles are being airlifted," according to the Ministry Spokesman.
He said similar assistance to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan is being worked out. "It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad. These will be both as gifts as well as on commercial basis."