'True friend': US praises India for sending Covid-19 vaccines to other countries
The United States on Friday praised India for its role in furthering global health amid the coronavirus pandemic and described the country as the "true friend" for using its pharmaceutical sector to help people across the world. "We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccine in South Asia," the state department tweeted.
The US praise came after India sent consignments of domestically-produced coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius and Seychelles in the last few days. It is also undertaking commercial supplies of the doses to a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil and Morocco. There are plans to supply doses to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Two million doses will also be sent to Morocco. Earlier, HT report confirmed commercial supplies of Covishield to several countries that have agreements with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India soon.
India's ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, thanked the state department for recognising his country's efforts to support the global community to combat the coronavirus pandemic, news agency PTI reported. Quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he tweeted late Friday night, "India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community."
Prime Minister Modi has said the vaccine production and delivery capacity of India, which is known as the 'pharmacy of the world' and produces 60 per cent of vaccines globally, would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting the coronavirus crisis.
India's former envoy to Canada and South Korea Vishnu Prakash pointed out the country vaccine diplomacy for its response to the needs of its neighbours. "This is my definition of the Neighbourhood First policy. It is the kind of policy and approach that we need to follow and it shows the difference between India and other countries," Prakash said.
(With agency inputs)
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