SOUTH ASIA

Bhutan PM thanks Modi for 4,00,000 more doses of Covid vaccine

THIMPHU: Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering on Monday expressed gratitude to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for making the nationwide rollout of the Covid vaccination drive in the country possible. This comes after Bhutan received additional 400,000 doses of Covishield from India.
Indian ambassador Ruchira Kamboj handed over the vaccine consignment to foreign minister Tandi Dorji at Paro airport, according to a press release by the Indian embassy in Bhutan.
“Pleased to receive additional 400,000 doses of Covishield, making possible the nationwide rollout of our vaccination programme. People of Bhutan and I remain [email protected],” Tshering said in a tweet.

Recalling PM Modi’s virtual address to the UN General Assembly in September 2020 on India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help humanity in fighting the pandemic, Kamboj reiterated that “India will be a force for good in the neighbourhood. It is committed to improving the well-being of the region.”
Bhutan received the first batch of 1.5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine as a gift from India in January.
Bhutan was the first country to receive India’s Covid vaccines gift, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The 550,000 doses of Covid vaccine by India will enable Bhutan to launch its nationwide vaccination drive from March 27 onwards.
The entire eligible population of Bhutan will be vaccinated with the first dose of the made-in-India Covid vaccine. Thus, Bhutan is expected to be one of the first countries to protect its entire population against Covid-19, with aid from India, the release said.
As a reflection of the special bonds of trust and understanding between the two countries that have existed over decades, the Indian government had earlier handed over ten consignments of medical supplies, one portable X-Ray machine, essential medicines and medical equipment in addition to the vaccine consignments.
Going ahead India will continue to firmly stand by Bhutan in the fight against the pandemic, it said.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, Bhutan has reported 869 coronavirus cases and one death.
As part of the “Vaccine Maitri” move, India has given more than 60 million doses of made-in-India Covid vaccine to 72 countries.

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