New Delhi , January 21: India's gift of one million Covishield vaccines to Nepal, under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, has reached Kathmandu, said S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs said on Thursday.
"Nepal receives Indian vaccines. Putting neighbours first, putting people first!" Jaishankar said in a tweet. After receiving the vaccines, Hridayesh Tripathi, Nepal Minister for Health and Population announced that more doses will be purchased from India.
"Citizens of Nepal will get Covid vaccines for free. We will bring more doses purchasing it from India," he said.
On Wednesday, Tripathi had thanked the Indian Government for extending help to the people of the Himalayas and said, "The Government of India has provided one million doses of vaccine against the COVID-19 in grant assistance."
India, earlier this month, rolled out two vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin, the homegrown vaccine to flatten the Covid-19 curve. Nepal earlier last week had also granted permission to use Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) for emergency use.
"It is an incomparable example of the relations between India and Nepal. The Government of India not only cares about its citizens but also about the citizens residing in neighboring countries. I would like to thank the Indian Government via our Indian Envoy," Minister Tripathi said.He also announced that it would be given to those working in managing the dead bodies of Covid-19 patients, security personnel and frontline, medical workers.
With a population of nearly 30 million, Nepal plans to inoculate 72 per cent of its citizens. The minister also announced that legal and financial preparations for rolling out of vaccine have been completed and everything is on set with vaccination drive soon to start in the Himalayan Nation.
India's Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday had announced vaccine rollout for Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday which comes in line with its Neighbourhood First Policy.
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.