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New Delhi [India], January 19 (ANI): India will begin supplies of COVID-19 vaccines being manufactured in the country to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday.

India is awaiting confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances concerning the supply of medicines in respect of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius.

The Ministry of External Affairs said in a release on Tuesday that the government has received several requests for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries.

"In response to these requests, and in keeping with India's stated commitment to use India's vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of humanity fight the Covid pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from January 20, 2021. In respect of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius, we are awaiting their confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances," the release said.

The ministry said in an ongoing effort, India will continue to supply countries all over the world with vaccines.

"This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI's Covax facility to developing countries."India has given emergency use authorisation to two COVID-19 vaccines being manufactured in the country - Covishield and Covaxin. While Covishield has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR.

The ministry said that the immunization programme is being implemented in India, as in other countries, in a phased manner to cover the healthcare providers, frontline workers and the most vulnerable.

"Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner," it said.

The ministry said that it will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad.

Prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, is being conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels, the release said.

India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries during the COVID19 pandemic.

The release said India has also provided training to several neighbouring countries to enhance and strengthen their clinical capabilities, under the Partnerships for Accelerating Clinical Trials (PACT) programme.

Separately, several training courses have been organized for healthcare workers and administrators of partner countries under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, sharing our experience in dealing with the pandemic. (ANI)

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