Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been keen to stay deeply engaged with the world during the global pandemic and had made it a point that the pharmaceutical industry plays a role to cement India’s relations with friendly countries(AP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been keen to stay deeply engaged with the world during the global pandemic and had made it a point that the pharmaceutical industry plays a role to cement India’s relations with friendly countries(AP)

Friends first: India adopts ‘HCQ model’ to send Covid vaccines to neighbours

India is expected to supply the Covid vaccine on a commercial basis as well as assistance
By Shishir Gupta | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:20 PM IST

India will adopt the ‘HCQ model’ to give other countries access to Covid vaccines being manufactured in the country in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to make the shield against coronavirus available to all humanity. India’s neighbours and closest friends would, however, be given the first priority after setting aside the vaccine needed for people in the country, people familiar with the matter said.

India had adopted the same format to make Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) available to friendly countries after studies indicated that the anti-malaria drug could be used as a prophylaxis. Besides sending HCQ supplies as assistance, India had commercially supplied half a billion HCQ tablets to 82 countries.

India’s commitment to supply 12 million doses of the vaccine to Nepal, which will be conveyed to Kathmandu when foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali lands in New Delhi next week, is part of this template.

Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had indicated the broad contours of this approach to extend India’s vaccine umbrella to countries in south Asia when he travelled to Nepal late last year. “The first priority will be for our closest neighbours, our friends,” Shringla had said.

Indian diplomats said this format would be replicated elsewhere in the region but the terms of the arrangement could be different. There could be a certain quantity of the vaccine that is made available on a grant basis while the rest would be on a commercial basis.

Bangladesh, which had contracted for 30 million doses, has granted approval to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. The vaccines are expected to start landing in Dhaka from early February, according to reports from Dhaka.

The Sheikh Hasina government had logged out of clinical trials for Chinese vaccine Sinovac after the manufacturer Sinovac Biotech demanded that Dhaka co-fund the late-stage domestic trial of its potential vaccine. Bangladesh subsequently declined to opt for the Chinese vaccine beyond the 1.1 lakh doses that it was to get free according to the arrangement to allow the trials in the country.

The company’s demand that Dhaka should pay for the trials was also contrary to President Xi Jinping’s stated position articulated at the World Health Assembly when he had called the Chinese vaccine a “global public good”, an attempt to recast the narrative around coronavirus in its favour in face of criticism for Beijing’s initial handling of the infection first report from the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Myanmar has, however, kept its options open and has announced a deal to source vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

“The purchase contract for buying the first batch of the vaccines from India has already been signed. As soon as the authorities concerned in India have issued permission to use this vaccine, we have made arrangements for the import of these vaccines into Myanmar,” announced, State Counsellor Daw AungSan Suu Kyi in her New Year address to the nation. Myanmar already has a pact in place to buy vaccines from China.

Myanmar has also asked the World Health Organisation’s COVAX programme and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation to secure vaccines for its poor. These, however, are expected to arrive by April.

Brazil, which had been facing complications around the Chinese vaccines, has also reached out to New Delhi for vaccine consignments of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine made by the Pune-based SII.

Pakistan, as expected, is relying heavily on the Chinese vaccines that are being supplied abroad, according to communist party-linked Global Times, to recoup the cost of giving free vaccinations to the Chinese people.

A Global Times article that attributed India’s plans to use the India-made vaccine for political brand-building and counter the international influence of Chinese vaccines, grudgingly acknowledged India’s expertise in the vaccine business.

“Experts suggested that India’s vaccines are no less competitive than Chinese COVID-19 vaccines in both research and production capacity, considering that India has the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and lower costs in labor and facilities,” the Global Times report said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Representational Image. (HT file)
Representational Image. (HT file)

Vaccine Maitri: India dispatches Covishield to Bhutan, Maldives

By Shalaka Shinde
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:49 PM IST
Further shipments by India will be made for Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles, according to a statement by MEA
Close
Kamala Harris particularly struck a chord with Tamil people and her heritage when she called out to her ‘chithis’ (referring to a parent’s younger sister in Tamil) during her speech in August at the Democratic National Convention.(M Roopesh/HT Photo )
Kamala Harris particularly struck a chord with Tamil people and her heritage when she called out to her ‘chithis’ (referring to a parent’s younger sister in Tamil) during her speech in August at the Democratic National Convention.(M Roopesh/HT Photo )

‘Like winning Olympic gold’: Kamala Harris' village gears up for her oath taking

By Divya Chandrababu
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:59 PM IST
Joe Biden will take oath as the 46th President of the United State on January 20 and Harris will be vice-president.
Close
Farmers have rejected the committee formed by SC on the grounds that it is pro-government. (REUTERS)
Farmers have rejected the committee formed by SC on the grounds that it is pro-government. (REUTERS)

Farm laws: SC irked over criticism of court-appointed committee members

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 04:20 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there was no question of bias as the committee has not been given any adjudicatory powers
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

TMC MP asks PM Modi to publish controversial book on Netaji, IMA

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:26 PM IST
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said that as per an official note exchanged between the MoD and the ministry of external affairs, pages 186 -191 of the unpublished book could add to the view that Netaji may not have died but survived the plane crash in August 1945
Close
BMC workers sanitise the area in front of bird enclosure at Lokmanya Tilak BMC Market , in Mumbai on January 14. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT file)
BMC workers sanitise the area in front of bird enclosure at Lokmanya Tilak BMC Market , in Mumbai on January 14. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT file)

Avian flu: 1,795 complaints of bird deaths in Mumbai, says BMC

By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:51 PM IST
Complaints include deaths of crows, pigeons and other birds, but not chicken, said BMC, even as it added that in many cases, there are multiple calls for a single death, raising the number of complaints higher than that of actual deaths
Close
An encounter is underway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Jammu district.(Reuters File Photo)
An encounter is underway in Jammu and Kashmir’s Jammu district.(Reuters File Photo)

4 soldiers injured in Pakistani firing along LoC in J-K's Akhnoor sector

Written by Prashasti Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:53 PM IST
The ceasefire violation from across the LoC took place in Jammu and Kashmir's Akhnoor sector.
Close
The victims—all residents of Chainpura village—were travelling in the ambulance that was on its way to Patna from Nalanda, police said.(HT Photo)
The victims—all residents of Chainpura village—were travelling in the ambulance that was on its way to Patna from Nalanda, police said.(HT Photo)

Speeding BMW kills 2 cops in Chennai, driver held

By Divya Chandrababu | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:22 PM IST
  • Raveendran, who was riding the bike, died on the spot while Karthik, the pillion rider, succumbed to his injuries at a government hospital around 11am, police said.
Close
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Representational Image. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

India Innovation Index ranking out, Karnataka retains top spot

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:22 PM IST
This is the second edition of the metric for assessing the innovation capabilities of Indian states and Union Territories
Close
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) greets Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2019. (REUTERS)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) greets Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 2019. (REUTERS)

Pakistan names general envoy to Saudi Arabia as military seeks control of ties

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:15 PM IST
The Pakistani ambassador’s position in Riyadh has often been held by retired military officers, reflecting the fact that defence ties form the bedrock of bilateral ties, Dawn reported
Close
With a ballerina’s poise and grace, the deformed myna braves life’s challenges. PHOTO: AMI PRABAL
With a ballerina’s poise and grace, the deformed myna braves life’s challenges. PHOTO: AMI PRABAL

Bird flu in Chhattisgarh: 45 wild mynas die in Bijapur, samples to be tested

By Ritesh Mishra | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:57 PM IST
  • The carcasses of the birds were found on Monday and Tuesday near a CRPF camp in Naimad area in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.
Close
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (File photo)
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. (File photo)

Sena questions Centre over reports of China building village in Arunachal

PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:37 PM IST
n an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena said that the country awaits a similar cross-border action against China as was ordered after Uri and Pulwama attacks originated from the Pakistani soil
Close
People even offered prayers at the village temple for Kamala Harris. In picture - A shop in the village hanging a calendar with the image of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.(Reuters)
People even offered prayers at the village temple for Kamala Harris. In picture - A shop in the village hanging a calendar with the image of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.(Reuters)

Thulasenthirapuram, Kamala Harris native village in TN, prepares for celebration

ANI, Nagapattinam
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:35 PM IST
Some people of the village were seen making a traditional recipe 'murukku' to celebrate the occasion. Many were seen cleaning the road and flowering the corners of the roads to mark the victory of Kamala Harris.
Close
Police personnel walk past a bus with farmer leaders before it leaves for Vigyan Bhawan to attend a meeting with the central government over the new farm laws, at Singhu border near Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)
Police personnel walk past a bus with farmer leaders before it leaves for Vigyan Bhawan to attend a meeting with the central government over the new farm laws, at Singhu border near Delhi on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)

‘What interest do we have’: Supreme Court's clear warning on farm laws panel

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:02 PM IST
The court also issued a notice to the Centre on an application by Bhartiya Kisan Party for filling up vacancy in the four-member committee created by resignation of Bhupinder Singh Mann.
Close
Overall, the framework of India Innovation Index 2020, consists of 36 indicators, which include hard data (32 indicators) and four composite indicators.(Getty images)
Overall, the framework of India Innovation Index 2020, consists of 36 indicators, which include hard data (32 indicators) and four composite indicators.(Getty images)

Niti Innovation Index: Karnataka, Maharashtra, TN top 3 states in innovation

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:27 PM IST
The index, released by Aayog's vice chairman Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant, has been developed in the lines of Global Innovation Index.
Close
Rakesh Tikait and other members of a delegation speaking to the press.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
Rakesh Tikait and other members of a delegation speaking to the press.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

'Govt has to repeal farm laws': Farmers' union ahead of 10th round of talks

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 01:27 PM IST
Leaders of all 40 farm unions which are taking part in the protest will meet three cabinet ministers of the government for talks this afternoon in an effort to end the impasse.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP