`Namaskar`: Brazil's Bolsonaro thanks 'great partner' India, PM Modi for Covid-19 vaccines
Brazil's President Jair M Bolsonaro on Friday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for supplying Covid-19 vaccines to Brazil. The president took to Twitter and said, "Namaskar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Brazil feels honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle by joining efforts. Thank you for assisting us with the vaccines exports from India to Brazil. Dhanyavaad."
The biggest nation of South America has been facing vaccine shortage and was awaiting the arrival of two million doses of the coronavirus vaccines from India, though experts feel the shipment from India would not be sufficient to compensate for the paucity of vaccines in Brazil.
"Counting doses from Butantan (a Sao Paulo state research institute) and those from India, there isn’t enough vaccine and there is no certainty about when Brazil will have more, or how much," Mário Scheffer, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Sao Paulo was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
Bolsonaro had written a letter to PM Modi urging him to expedite the shipment as he was facing pressure in the country to roll-out vaccination. Brazil also sent an Airbus A330neo aircraft of Azul Airlines equipped with special containers to Mumbai to bring vaccines from India, even before India finalised export plans.
“To [ensure] the immediate implementation of the Brazilian National Programme of Immunisation, I would highly appreciate your good offices in expediting the shipment of two million doses of the vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India to Brazil urgently, but as long as it does not impact the Indian vaccination programme,” Bolsonaro had written in the letter in Portuguese.
India had started exporting the Astrazeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine doses from Wednesday, The first two countries that India exported vaccines to were Bhutan and the Maldives. Seychelles, Morocco and Brazil have received the vaccine shipments on Friday. Morocco receiving two million doses of the Covid vaccine is also the first big shipment of the vaccines to Africa.
Brazil has recorded around 214,000 deaths from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), which is the second-highest in the world after the United States.
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