World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his continued support to the global COVID-19 response, saying acting together, including sharing of knowledge, will help in combating the novel coronavirus.
India this week announced that it will send COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance to Sri Lanka and seven other countries -- Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Afghanistan and Mauritius.
Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives have already received India's COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance in sync with its "Neighbourhood First” policy.
"Thank you, India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for your continued support to global Covid-19 response. Only if we act together, including sharing of knowledge, can we stop this virus and save lives and livelihoods," tweeted Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of World Health Organization.
Prime Minister Modi has said India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used for the benefit of all humanity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said last week India was ready to do everything possible for a healthy planet.
On January 19, India announced its grant assistance of vaccines to the neighbouring countries. A day after, 1.5 lakh doses of vaccines were supplied to Bhutan and one lakh doses to the Maldives as grant assistance. Over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were provided to Bangladesh and 1 million doses to Nepal.
India, one of the world's biggest drugmakers, has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive using two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin.
Covishield has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and is being manufactured by Serum Institute of India. Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research.
India on Friday began commercial exports and sent two million doses of domestically manufactured Covishield vaccine to Brazil.
India has undertaken contractual supplies of coronavirus vaccines to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi on Friday.
Several countries have already approached India for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.
Earlier, India had supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the current global COVID-19 caseload and death toll stood at 98,129,394 and 2,105,056, respectively.