India offers support to Africa in fight against Omicron variant
Supplies of Made-in-India vaccines can be undertaken through COVAX or bilaterally
Expressing solidarity with African countries that have been affected by the deadly COVID variant Omicron, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement on Monday said India stands ready to support countries in the continent, including by supplies of vaccines, life-saving drugs and test kits.
Noting that the Indian government has already streamlined vaccine supplies to African countries, it added, the government 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.
“We have also cleared supplies of COVAXIN to Botswana. Any new requirement projected either bilaterally or through COVAX will be considered expeditiously,” the MEA statement added.
Any new requirement by African countries would be considered expeditiously, it stated.
“We have noted the emergence of a new variant of Covid-19, Omicron. We express our solidarity with the countries, particularly in Africa, who have so far been affected by the Omicron variant,” the MEA said in the statement.
“The Government of India stands ready to support the countries affected in Africa in dealing with the Omicron variant, including supplies of Made-in-India vaccines,” it said.
“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,” the statement mentioned.
“Indian institutions would favourably consider cooperation in genomic surveillance and virus characterization related research work with their African counterparts,” it added.
The statement further noted that India has, so far, supplied more than 25 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to 41 countries in Africa, including nearly 1 million doses as grant to 16 countries and more than 16 million doses under the COVAX facility to 33 countries.