Bhutan and Maldives became the first two countries to receive Covid-19 vaccines sent by India

Bhutan and Maldives became the first two countries to receive Covid-19 vaccines sent by India

Bhutan and Maldives on Wednesday became the first two countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines sent by India in sync with its ‘neighbourhood first’ policy.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shared on Twitter photos of the consignments reaching the two countries.On Tuesday, India had said it would send COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday.

The supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will commence after confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.

It is learnt that 1,50,000 doses of Covisheild vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), were sent to Bhutan and 1,00,000 doses reached Maldives as part of India’s grant assistance.

“Indian vaccines reach Maldives, reflects our special friendship,” Jaishankar tweeted along with a photograph of the consignments.

“#VaccineMaitri begins. Consignment arrives in Bhutan. Another example of #NeighbourhoodFirst,” he said in another tweet.

Hailing India’s initiative as a sign of the good relationship between the two countries, Nepal health minister Hridayesh Tripathi said, “This is an example of the relationship between Nepal and India. It has been named ‘Vaccine Maitri’.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the vaccines will be sent to the neighbouring countries under India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative.

“India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supplies of Covid vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead,” he tweeted.

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