New Delhi: On Thursday, Pakistan announced that China offered to send 500,000 Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines by January 31st 2021. This news comes as the neighbouring countries show a preference towards procuring vaccines from India, about three million doses were delivered to Nepal and Bangladesh on Thursday.
India delivered two million doses of Covishield to Dhaka and one million doses to Kathmandu on Thursday. According to media reports, India plans to deliver, 50,000 doses to Seychelles, 100,000 doses to Mauritius and 1.5 million doses to Myanmar on Friday.
Aside from which, Bhutan and the Maldives are part of India’s initial rollout of vaccines as assistance, there are even plans to supply vaccines to Afganistan and Sri Lanka. Media reports say that commercial supplies of Covishield to several countries that have agreements with the Serum Institute of India will also begin Friday. Two flights will carry two million doses each to Brazil and Morocco.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the announcement at a news conference, saying his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, shared the “good news” in a phone call between the two officials. According to VOA report, Quershi said “He told me, ‘Send your aircraft and immediately airlift this drug.’ So, this is a welcome news for us. And we will, God willing, succeed in saving many lives.”
India has rolled out vaccines speedily to its neighbours despite its own needs, to counterbalance China’s effort and strengthen its ties with South Asia. China has been giving loans and using its expertise to build a relation with South Asian countries which has an influence with India including Nepal and Sri Lanka. China has also tried to build ties with Pakistan, India’s biggest rival.