New Delhi: India has supplied over 4.64 crore made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine doses to 47 countries as of Thursday (March 4). The outreach has won New Delhi a lot of goodwill from the global community.
Of these, 71.25 lakh doses have been supplied as gifts, while over 3.93 crore have been sold commercially.
The list of countries that received vaccines includes both developed and developing countries, from Africa to the Caribbean to ASEAN nations and to the neighbourhood as well.
Canada has received 5 lakh vaccine doses till Wednesday. The Pune-based Serum Institute of India will be sending 1.5 million more doses of the Covishield vaccine. In a tweet, India's envoy to Canada Ajay Bisaria said, "India is proud to support Canada's vaccination programme as a strategic partner."
One of India's significant outreach has been to CARICOM or Caribbean countries like Barbados, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda.
Lauding India's generosity, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne said, "PM Narendra Modi has demonstrated perhaps the most significant of benevolence, kindness and certainly of empathy that we would have seen in the recent times compared to any act of any other leader globally".
"I have to admit that this is easily one of the most notable acts of benevolence that we have seen in the last 100 years," he added.
Other Caribbean leaders also thanked India with Barbados PM Mia Amor Mottley tweeting, "PM Modi made it possible for more than 40,000 persons in Barbados and tens of thousands elsewhere, to receive their first dose of Covishield via 'Vaccine Maitri' before receiving his. A genuine demonstration of generosity. Thank you and we wish you continued good health."
Caribbean countries included a special thanks to India in a resolution adopted by the Organisation of American States (OAS), a group of 34 countries including the US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
CARICOM's envoy to the OAS permanent council, Ambassador Ronald Sanders said, "India has demonstrated that it is a caring nation and is an example to the world in international cooperation at a time of global crisis. Further, India has not sought to extract any conditions for its generosity to countries that have no vaccines. India will be remembered by the Caribbean with great gratitude."
Indian High Commissioner to the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr KJ Srinivasa said, "India's role as the first responder during crises and as the 'pharmacy of the world' is now recognized throughout the region and this 'Vaccine Maitri' will go a long way in further consolidating India's role as a world leader."
11 countries including 10 from Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Congo, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan and one from ASEAN, Cambodia, have got India-made vaccine under the COVAX facility and all of India's neighbours barring Pakistan have been supplied with vaccines by New Delhi.
In fact, Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh began their vaccination drive using India-made vaccines.
Last week, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani said, "India, the world's largest democracy and the largest producer of vaccines, not only provided the house of Parliament of Afghanistan and the dams that are the pride of this country but also partners with us in terms of securing our lives and livelihood."
India had started its mega domestic vaccination in January and since then more than 1.66 crore vaccine doses have been administered.