Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )
The Maldives will become the first country to receive the Indian COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday
The Maldives will become the first country to receive the Indian COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. The Indian Ocean island country will receive Oxford Astrazeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India. The Maldives government has given all regulatory approvals and permissions.
The Indian consignment will arrive at 2 pm local time by Air India flight at Velana International Airport Malé. The development reaffirms India's reputation as the first responder in an emergency situation, especially in the neighbourhood.
Maldives has been the largest COVID-19 assistance recipient in India’s neighbourhood including medicine supply, food supply, medical team, training, and financial assistance of $250 million. Under the operation Sanjeevani, the Indian Air force airlifted 6.3 tonnes of essential medicines and consumables from various cities in India in April 2020.
Additionally, under Mission Sagar one of the Indian Navy to reach out to countries with COVID aid, India sent food to 5 Indian Ocean countries including the Maldives just before the onset of Ramzan. In fact, India sent 600 tonnes of food items to the Maldives via Indian Naval Ship Kesari. The package included 200 tonnes of rice, 140 tonnes of wheat flour, 120 tonnes of yellow dal, 80 tonnes of sugar, 26 tonnes of onions and 14 tonnes of Potato. Another key focus has been capacity building with the training of Maldivian healthcare officials.