By Sanjay Jha, ITV News, New Delhi
India will start exporting its indigenous vaccines to neighbouring countries by special planes from Wednesday .India’s foreign ministry announced that following several request for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from “neighbouring and key partner countries”, it will start exporting the Covishield Covid-19 vaccine to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles and Maldives.
“India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet.
India said that exports to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius are awaiting “necessary regulatory clearances”.
The Bangladesh foreign ministry said it expected to receive a gift of two million doses on Thursday.
The ruling Awami League party of Bangladesh said in a tweet that the gift is in “addition to the procurement” of 30 million doses from India's partner to Oxford/AstraZeneca - Serum Institute of India. This will be under the deal that Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals signed with SII earlier.
India with one of the world's biggest drug manufacturing capacity has been approached by an increasing number of countries for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.
India will continue to supply countries all over the world with vaccines. This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under Gavi’s Covax facility to developing countries, India’s foreign ministry said in the announcement.
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 during the Covid-19 pandemic.