India will be gifting Sri Lanka 500,000 doses of India made COVID vaccines on Thursday (January 28) on a special Air India plane. It will be the 8th country in the region to get New Delhi’s vaccine gift. The gift will ceremonially be handed over by High Commissioner Gopal Baglay at the Bandaranaiake International Airport.
Last week India gifted vaccines to 8 countries– Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Seychelles and Mauritius and sent commercial consignments to 3 countries–Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh. A release from the Indian high commission in Colombo said, “The gift from India is keeping in line with India’s continued support to Sri Lanka in fighting the COVID pandemic. “
The vaccine, Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covishield is manufactured by Serum Institute of India. It was approved for use by govt last week. Interestingly, India’s vaccine consignment comes to the country on auspicious Duruthu Poya Day and marks the day when Gautama Buddha first visited Sri Lanka.
Amid the pandemic, India has been supplying medicines to many countries in the region including Sri Lanka. In May 2020, India had sent 12.5 tons of medical supplies to the country to deal with the pandemic. Under mission sagar 1, supplies were sent onboard Indian navy ships to 5 Indian ocean countries including Sri Lanka.
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