PM Modi ‘Honored’ after Brazil Thanks India for 2 MM Covid Vaccine

New Delhi: After receiving 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from India, Brazil President Jair M Bolsonaro thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for vaccine export saying he feels honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle by joining efforts.

India, which began exporting the Astrazeneca and Oxford coronavirus vaccine doses last Wednesday, has also sent supplies to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

“Namaskar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Brazil feels honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle by joining efforts. Thank you for assisting us with the vaccines exports from India to Brazil. Dhanyavaad,” Bolsonaro said.

In his tweet, Bolsonaro shared an illustration that shows Lord Hanuman carrying a mountain with vaccines from India to Brazil. In Ramayana, there is a tale in which Hanuman carries the entire mountain to deliver Sanjeevani Booti, a magical life-saving herb, to save wounded Lakshman, Lord Ram’s brother.

Replying to Bolsonaro’s tweet, PM Modi said both countries will continue to strengthen our cooperation on healthcare. “The honour is ours, President Jair M. Bolsonaro to be a trusted partner of Brazil in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic together. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation on healthcare, the Prime Minister tweeted.

The honour is ours, President @jairbolsonaro to be a trusted partner of Brazil in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic together. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation on healthcare.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 23, 2021

External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also took to Twitter to say, “Made in India vaccines arrive in Brazil.”

Trust the Pharmacy of the World. Made in India vaccines arrive in Brazil. #VaccineMaitri

— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 22, 2021Also, calling the day historic, India’s Ambassador to Brazil said, “Today is a historic day in India-Brazil relations. Brazil is the first country to get such a consignment. PM Modi said we’ll make vaccine available to all countries & we’ll continue to work towards that & I wish you good luck in your efforts.”

According to Brazil’s Health Ministry, the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, landed in Sao Paulo before being flown to Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil’s state-run Fiocruz Institute is based. Fiocruz has an agreement to produce and distribute the vaccine.

According to Brazilian public health experts, the 2 million doses from India only scratch the surface of the shortfall and far more doses will be needed to cover priority groups in the nation of 210 million people.

“Counting doses from Butantan (a Sao Paulo state research institute) and those from India, there isn’t enough vaccine and there is no certainty about when Brazil will have more, or how much,” said M’rio Scheffer, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Sao Paulo.

Brazil has recorded 2,14,000 deaths related to COVID-19, the second-highest total in the world after the United States, and infections and deaths surging aga

Several neighbouring countries praised India as the country starts giving millions of coronavirus vaccines to South Asian nations, a move that also counters China’s dominance in the region.

In Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal, free shipments of Covid-19 vaccines of Oxford-AstraZeneca, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest producer of vaccines, have started arriving.

“The government of India has shown goodwill by providing the vaccine in grant. This is at the people’s level, it is the public who are suffering the most from COVID-19,” Nepal’s Minister for Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.

India has started providing vaccines to its Himalayan neighbour Nepal despite strained ties that have worsened post-Nepal’s inclusion of Indian territories in its map.

New Delhi on Thursday officially handed over 2 million doses of Covid-19 jabs to Bangladesh as a gift.

“India had stood by Bangladesh during the (1971) Liberation War, and today, when the pandemic is rattling the world, India again came with gifts of vaccines,” Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was reported as saying by news agency PTI.

A government source told Reuters that India is mulling over providing about 12 million to 20 million shots to its neighbours in the first wave of assistance in the next three to four weeks.

India is also helping some of these countries by providing them training to administer vaccines and setting up facilities to help in the rollout, the source added.