West Indies cricketing legends including Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson and Jimmy Adams on Sunday expressed their gratitude to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for offering vaccine support to Caribbean nations as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Twitter post shared by the Indian Embassy in Guyana, the international cricketers thanked PM Modi for his ‘kind generosity’ and the ‘wonderful contribution’ of ‘Made in India’ vaccines on behalf of the people of Antigua and Barbuda. Jamaican cricketer Jimmy Adams said he was deeply grateful to the government of India as his home country as well as Antigua had been benefitted from the Oxford-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
Guyana on Sunday, March 7, received 80,000 doses of Covishield vaccine under India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme. Taking to Twitter, the Indian Embassy in Guyana informed that the country’s Prime Minister Mark Phillips received the gift of vaccines from India, a testimony of its hand of friendship.
Earlier on March 1, India shipped half a million COVID-19 vaccines destined for over 4 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries and Suriname. Sharing the development on Twitter, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the move came as part of India’s commitment to the Caribbean Community.
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda thanked PM Modi for providing over 500 thousand Made in India Covishield vaccines to the country and praised India for ‘generously and selflessly’ assisting the Caribbean in their fight against COVID-19.
What is the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme?
India’s Vaccine Maitri programme that started in February, aims to help poor countries amid the global pandemic. In this brief period, the country has delivered around 45.6 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech’s indigenous vaccine, of which 38.47 million doses were commercial supplies and 7.12 million doses were granted to around 45 countries.
Neighbouring Bangladesh became the major recipient of COVID vaccines, having received 9 million doses to date. Morocco emerged as the second-largest recipient with commercial supplies of 2 million doses till February 24. Some other countries that were benefited from India’s gift of vaccines include Brazil, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
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