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Updated January 20th, 2021 at 17:06 IST

Maldives thanks India as 1 lakh doses of Covishield reach Male, says 'Most Generous Gift'

As the consignment of Coronavirus vaccine reached Maldives, its President Ibrahim Solih thanked PM Modi and India, calling vaccines the 'most generous gift'.

Reported by: Pritesh Kamath
Edited by: Pritesh Kamath
Maldives
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As India honours its commitment of helping the neighbouring friendly countries by supplying the much needed Coronavirus vaccine to cope up with the pandemic, the consignment of 1 lakh doses of Serum Institute - AstraZeneca developed Covishield reached Maldivian capital Male on Wednesday. 

Expressing 'heartfelt' gratitude on the supply of the vaccines, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government and the people of India for the "most generous gift".

Moreover, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid expressed happiness for receiving the vaccines and lauded India for standing "strong and steadfast" by the friendly nations as the "1st responder in any crisis".

Ahead of the delivery, former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed praised India for its humanitarian assistance. Taking to Twitter, Mohamed Nasheed called Covishield 'A gift from India' and a 'beginning of the end of this terrible virus'. Terming India as a 'dependable friend', the former president also recalled the help received from India previously during the 1988 coup against Maldivian government, the water crisis and when the Tsunami had hit the Maldives.

India supplies vaccine to six friendly countries

India began the supply of Coronavirus vaccines under grant assistance to six friendly countries -- Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday. The first consignment of 1.5 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' was despatched to Bhutan on early hours of Wednesday.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said India will supply Covid-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner keeping in view the domestic requirements. In a statement, the MEA said India has received several requests for the supply of Indian-manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries.

"In response to these requests, and in keeping with India's stated commitment to use India's vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of humanity fight the Covid pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from January 20," it said.

READ | 'Deeply Honoured': India To Supply COVID Vaccines To Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal

READ | India Dispatches 1st Consignment Containing 1.5 Lakh Doses Of Covishield Vaccine To Bhutan

Maldives and India relations

As India launched the mega vaccination drive across the country on January 16, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government for the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign. Ibrahim took to Twitter on January 17 and hailed the 'landmark program to vaccinate India's population against COVID-19.'

India and Maldives have had friendly relations and have even signed four Memoranda of Understanding in November 2020. Maldivian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdulla Shahid had then said that the relationship between the two countries is built on common values and traditions. 

"Ours is a relationship of people - built on shared values, shared culture and traditions... India is the undisputed first responder, the best of friends, an invaluable partner," he had said.

READ | 'India Is Deeply Honoured': PM Modi Says After Vaccine Export Begins On January 20

READ | Cambodia's PM Seeks Help From India For The Provision Of COVID-19 Vaccines As List Grows

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Published January 20th, 2021 at 17:06 IST

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