Tue, 02 Mar 2021

New Delhi [India], January 27 (ANI): A consignment containing 5,00,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines gifted by India will reach Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

This gift of Covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka is a part of India's "Vaccine Maitri" initiative under which India has gifted vaccines to seven other countries in the region.

The consignment, which will be containing 500,000 doses of Covishield vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), will reach Colombo.

This comes days after Sri Lanka's drugs regulatory body -- National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) gave a go-ahead to Oxford Astrazeneca's vaccine.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Sri Lanka from January 5-7 upon the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena. During the visit, Sri Lankan side requested India for urgent delivery of Covid vaccines. The supply of 5 lakh doses is a fulfilment of that request.

The delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka is a fulfilment of PM Narendra Modi's commitment made to Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa during the Virtual Bilateral Summit held in September 2020 for all possible support to Sri Lanka for minimizing the health and economic impact of the pandemic.

In line with PM Modi's statement that India sees International cooperation in the area of fight against the Covid 19 pandemic as its duty, India has played the role of the first responder in the region.

It has extended a USD 400-million currency swap facility to Sri Lanka to ensure the financial stability of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also gifted approximately 26 tons of essential lifesaving medicines and equipment to the Sri Lankan government. India was the first to send such a consignment on-board two special Air India aircraft.

India also facilitated the repatriation of several hundred Sri Lankan citizens from various Indian cities. (ANI)

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