The Edition


COVID-19: Maldives to receive first vaccine shipment from India on Wednesday

Shahudha Mohamed
19 January 2021, MVT 19:32
A health professional administering a COVID-19 vaccine. Indian media reports state that Maldives will receive the first vaccine shipment from India on January 20. PHOTO: MIHAARU FILES
Shahudha Mohamed
19 January 2021, MVT 19:32

Indian President Narendra Modi confirmed that Maldives will receive one of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines extended by the Indian government, on Wednesday.

In addition to Maldives, India is also providing vaccine shipments to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

According to Indian media outlets, the Maldivian government has given all regulatory approvals and permissions to receive the Oxford Astrazeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India.

Reports state that the Indian consignment will arrive at 1400 hrs local time by Air India flight at Velana International Airport (VIA), and will contain enough shots to cover frontline health workers and senior citizens.

The COVISHIELD vaccine, which authorities had formerly revealed the state was attempting to acquire, shows an efficiency between 90 to 62 percent and can be stored in temperatures compatible with most vaccines.

The Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir, on Sunday, assured that India will provide vaccines to Maldives shortly, but no details were revealed at the time.

With this vaccine shipment, Maldives will become the recipient of the largest COVID-19 assistance among the countries in India’s neighbourhood. The assistance so far has included medicines, food items, training and financial assistance of about USD 250 million.