India's interests come before vaccine exports: Health ministry

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Sep 02, 2021, 07:27 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

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"Every country works with an aim of keeping its people, economy and social system safe," Rajesh Bhushan told a weekly news conference. 

India would resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines only after its own interests are taken care of, a health ministry official said on Thursday. 

This comes in as a recent surge in immunisations raised hopes of foreign sales that have been barred since mid-April.

"Every country works with an aim of keeping its people, economy and social system safe," Rajesh Bhushan told a weekly news conference.

"Even the public health response to COVID-19 is governed by those goals. So we will also try to achieve those goals and see when would be the right time to export vaccines," he added.

Meanwhile, India reported the biggest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases in two months today, as the government worries about the virus spreading from the most-affected Kerala state, schools reopening, and the start of the festival season.

Also read | India records highest COVID-19 cases in two months, worst-hit Kerala in focus

Kerala accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the 47,092 new infections and a third of deaths.

This comes a week after it celebrated its biggest festival during which family and social gatherings were common.

"With cases rising in Kerala, adequate steps should be taken to contain the inter-state spread of COVID-19," Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a statement after speaking with his state counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which border Kerala.

India has so far administered 662 million doses, with at least one dose in 54 per cent of its 944 million adults and the required two doses in 16 per cent.

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