Covid-19: Justin Trudeau dials Narendra Modi for vaccine supplies
In what could be a turning point in relations between New Delhi and Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday reached out to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines.
Modi later took to Twitter to say that he “was happy to receive a call from my friend, @JustinTrudeau”. He added, “Assured him that India would do its best to facilitate supplies of Covid vaccines sought by Canada. We also agreed to continue to collaborate on other important issues like Climate Change and the global economic recovery.”
Indian officials said the vaccines manufactured in India will be those from AstraZeneca and sourced from the Serum Institute of India.
The start of shipments of the vaccines to Canada is believed to be “imminent” and only awaiting emergency-use authorisation of the AstraZeneca vaccine by public health authorities in Canada.
There is optimism that the coronavirus vaccine deal will result in an improvement in ties between the two countries, which were adversely affected after Trudeau had made controversial remarks about the ongoing farmers’ protests late last year during a virtual event.
The Trudeau government has faced criticism in recent weeks for its handling of the pandemic as its projected inoculation programme has run into difficulty due to shortage of vaccine shipments from Pfizer and Moderna.