India extends a helping hand to Africa; Ready to send vaccines and medical supplies

According to the MEA statement, India has promised supply of PPE kits, medical equipment including ventilators, life saving drugs, test kits, gloves and more.

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According to reports, the production of the domestic vaccine has tripled since April and now it has touched almost 300 million doses a month (Photo: UNICEF)

With the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, being identified, India extended its support to the African continent on Monday. It has offered to send more COVID-19 vaccines which will help in fighting the new variant.

So far, according to an official statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), 25 million doses of the domestically produced vaccine shots have been sent to 41 countries in the continent of Africa. This has mostly gone through the global vaccine-distribution network COVAX.

The supplies can be undertaken either through COVAX or bilaterally. India stands ready to support countries affected in Africa in dealing with the Omicron variant, including by supplies of Made-in-India vaccines.

So far, all orders placed by COVAX for supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine to countries such as Mozambique, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Lesotho have been approved by the Indian government. Even shots of indigenous Covaxin have been delivered to Botswana.

According to the MEA statement, India has promised supply of PPE kits, medical equipment including ventilators, life saving drugs, test kits, gloves and more. It has also promised to expeditiously approve any requirement made bilaterally or under COVAX.

In October, the overseas shipments of COVID-19 vaccines resumed for the first time. The overseas shipment was put on hold since April 2021 in the midst of the second wave in the country. The focus was on vaccinating citizens first.

According to reports, the production of the domestic vaccine has tripled since April and now it has touched almost 300 million doses a month. So far at least one dose to 83 percent of 944 million adults has been administered.

Aid from China

Beijing has pledged to send almost one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the continent, and additional 400 million doses through other routes including being produced by the Chinese companies in Africa. China has also pledged investment of USD one billion in the continent.

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