Indian government offers vaccines, other help to Omicron-affected nations
New Delhi: The Indian government on Monday offered ‘Made in India’ vaccine supply and other help to the countries dealing with new Covid variant ‘Omicron’ in Africa.
“The Government of India stands ready to support the countries affected in Africa in dealing with the Omicron variant, including by supplies of ‘Made in India’ vaccines. Supplies can be undertaken through Covax or bilaterally,” said the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The Central government in this regard has cleared all orders placed so far by Covax for supplies of Covishield vaccines, including to African countries like Malawi, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea and Lesotho, the MEA added.
“We have also cleared supplies of Covaxin to Botswana. Any new requirement projected either bilaterally or through Covax will be considered expeditiously,” said the Ministry in a statement, adding that India also stands ready to supply essential life-saving drugs, test kits, gloves, PPE kits and medical equipment such as ventilators, as may be required.
Indian institutions would favourably consider cooperation in genomic surveillance and virus characterisation-related research work with their African counterparts.
The Union government has so far supplied more than 25 million doses of Made in India vaccines to 41 countries in Africa, including nearly one million doses as grant to 16 countries and more than 16 million doses under the Covax facility to 33 countries.
The new Covid variant — Omicron — was first reported to World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, 2021.