Sri Lanka to get India's Covid vaccine gift next week

Reported By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jan 23, 2021, 04.51 PM(IST)

Covid vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced the vaccine will reach the country on January 27.

India will send a "gift" to Sri Lanka next week -- in the form of Covid vaccines. 

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced the vaccine will reach the country on January 27.

The country will get 500,000 doses of "made-in-India" Covishield vaccine. With this, Sri Lanka has become the eighth country to receive such gift from India.

India began its country wide mega immunisation programme on January 16.

New Delhi has till date gifted vaccines to seven countries in the region as part of its neighbourhood first policy -- Bhutan (150,000) , Maldives (100,000) , Nepal (One million) , Bangladesh (2 million) , Myanmar (1.5 M), Seychelles (50,000) , and Mauritius (100,000).

India has so far been waiting for regulatory approval from Sri Lankan and Afghan authorities. The Sri Lanka's drugs regulatory body -- National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) -- gave a go ahead to Oxford Astrazeneca's vaccine on Friday. 

The Indian embassy in Sri Lanka had welcomed the development, tweeting, "this clears the way for scheduling  delivery of the vaccine from #India to #lka"

https://twitter.com/IndiainSL/status/1352624199899045900?s=19

The first jabs are expected to be given to health care workers in the country. 

Colombo is expected to procure more India-manufactured vaccines commercially later.

Sri Lankan Healthcare Personnel were among the personnel of 13 countries who India trained last week. For two days, from January 19 to 20, India trained foreign personnel in administering the vaccine. These were from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Bahrain, Brazil, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

Amid the Covid pandemic as part of Indian Navy's Mission Sagar 1, India has provided medicines to Sri Lanka. 

Also, India-supported 1990 Emergency Ambulance service helped the country in a major way to deal with the crisis.

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