A year and a month have passed since Wuhan in China first reported the case of covid-19. It has been 10 months since India reported the first case of covid-19. The covid-19 outbreak in India was reported as neglected by various foreign media sources. Many claimed that India is denying the existence of covid-19 and the response of the country is a humanitarian disaster. Countries such as the UK and the US are still reporting the cases of covid-19. The US, as of now, has reported more than 24 million cases, the United Kingdom, on the other hand, reported a new strain of the virus which is 70% more transmissible.
On the other hand, India’s covid-19 cases have fallen to the lowest since June. The active cases are now reported to be less than 20,000. This grip over the virus in India was not tightened suddenly. The government of India actively took the initiative in the first month when covid-19 case was reported. Today, India has taken the command to rescue other countries from the covid-19 pandemic. But how was India, as a developing country, able to do so?
How serious was the response of India towards the pandemic initially?
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi first initiated a lockdown of 21 days in the country to break the chain of the virus’s 21 days activity. However, the efforts to disrupt the transmission through several lockdowns weren’t very successful in stopping the cases from increasing in the country. When falling curve of the economy couldn’t be ignored any longer, the lockdown was lifted and life was made to come back to normal gradually. But the strictness for the precautionary measures was increased for every field. In the current scenario, India is leading the world’s largest vaccination drive.
How is it called the world’s largest vaccination program?
In India, around 1.3 billion people are awaited to be vaccinated. India has become the only country to have two indigenous vaccines. The Serum Institute of India produced around 50 million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine in December 2020. The Bharat Biotech vaccine named Covaxin has been approved for emergency use with the production of over 700 million doses. On January 16, 2021, the prime minister of India inaugurated the largest vaccination drive. The priority was given to the frontline workers including doctors, nurses, and any medical worker.
- Within 10 days 1.04 million people became vaccinated in the country.
- The plan of India is to immunize at least 300 million people from the virus by July 2021.
- More than 2 lakh vaccinators are trained.
- 37 lakh vaccination drive team members are included in the program.
- 29,000 cold storages are prepared for vaccines.
Which countries have received the help of vaccines from India?
Pc: Times Now
After the commencement of Indian vaccines, the country started receiving requests from the officials of other neighboring countries for vaccine delivery. On 20th January the government of India started the dispatch of vaccines. The first consignment was received by Bhutan and Maldives. As of January, the following doses have been shipped to these countries free of cost:
- Maldives – 1 lakh doses
- Nepal – 1 million doses
- Bangladesh- 2 million doses.
- Myanmar- 15 million doses
- Seychelles- 50, 000
- Mauritius – 15 lakh
The list does not end here.
- Bangladesh has contracted with SII for 30 million more doses.
- Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are next for the delivery.
- Brazil and Morocco have also received 2 million doses under commercial agreements.
- The UK and Belgium have shown interest in the Indian vaccine.
- Dominica prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote a letter to the prime minister of India for the donation of vaccines.
- Developing African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa looking forward to the Covishield vaccine. Even UAE and Saudi Arabia too.
- SII worked to develop 200 million doses only to supply to the Covax alliance.
This movement to help the neighboring countries and others later has been marked as “Vaccine Maitri” by Narendra Modi.
Why are other nations opting for Indian vaccines over the other vaccines?
All the vaccines that have been produced to date except Indian vaccines are from developed nations. There have been concerns about the delayed distribution of the vaccine to poorer countries. Covishield is seen as a suitable option due to:
Where vaccines like Moderna and Sputnik cost around $10-$30, Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine cost $6
2. Temperature storage:
Covishield and Covaxin need not be stored at extremely cold temperatures with minus degrees as required by Russia, UK, and the USA developed vaccines.
External Affairs Ministry of India remarks, on the topic of supplies to other nations:“It will ensure that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad”.
India has one of the highest numbers of U.S. FDA approved vaccine manufacturing plants. They have tie-ups with many foreign developers from around the globe. India serves 50% of the world’s demand for vaccines.
India’s efforts to end the covid-19 pandemic through its innovative expertise and equitable offerings are appreciated by world leaders. This gesture by the government of India might enhance cordiality with other nations which in return could be beneficial for India.