India to supply 5 lakh doses of Covid vaccine to Canada after Trudeau's call to PM Modi

Updated on Feb 14, 2021 12:04 PM IST
South Block has also taken the decision to supply vaccine to armed force of neighbouring countries on military to military basis.
According to people aware of the development, the request from Ottawa was approved last week.(PTI File Photo)
According to people aware of the development, the request from Ottawa was approved last week.(PTI File Photo)

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi for coronavirus disease (covid-19) vaccine, India has in principle approved supply of half-a-million doses of Covishield vaccine for Canada in February.

The Modi government has also decided to supply Covid vaccine to armies of Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and other neighbouring countries. The process of army to army supply has already begun and the vaccine will be distributed by Indian Army to friendly countries. The supplies will be a mix of Covaxin and Covishield vaccine, the same way as has been applied to Indian Army’s frontline troops.

According to people aware of the development, while the supply and delivery of Astra-Zeneca vaccine to Canada is in the process of being tied up, the request from Ottawa was approved last week. Canada has asked for one million doses of the Covishield vaccine on February 5.

The vaccine supply to Canada was approved in principle after PM Trudeau called up PM Modi on February 10. While the Canadian Prime Minister discussed vaccine supplies with PM Modi, he also assured safety and security for Indian diplomats and diaspora, who were being targeted by separatists elements based in Toronto and Vancouver. The Indian envoys in Ottawa and Vancouver were threatened by so-called Khalistan separatists under the garb of protests against the three farm laws. However, action against identified culprits by Indian High Commission is still to be taken even as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating the issue.

Closer to home, the Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday approved supply of Covid vaccine to armies of friendly countries with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal top on the priority list. It was decided that the supplies to armed forces of friendly countries will be dealt by Indian armed forces as a sign of deepening defence cooperation.


    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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