India gifts 50,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to Seychelles
The Indian Ocean nation has received Covishield vaccines under India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme
Continuing with its humanitarian outreach among neighbours and friends across the world, India has supplied 50,000 doses of vaccines to Seychelles, which is one of the four Indian Ocean countries to receive Covishield vaccines, manufactured by Serum Institute of India. These medicines have been provided under grant assistance.
The donation of the vaccines under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ demonstrates India’s role as a reliable partner of Seychelles and net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region. This is also reflective of India’s special relations with Seychelles and the central place enjoyed by this Indian Ocean country in Prime Minister Modi’s vision of SAGAR: “Security and Growth for All in the Region”
Seychelles has around 1 lakh inhabitants and the 50,000 doses will thus be able to cover nearly 25 percent of the total Seychelles population. Seychelles almost Covid free till December 2020.
However, a sudden spike in Covid cases has been reported since December, resulting in a public health scare in the country. To mitigate the alarming rate of community transmission in Seychelles, the request for immediate supply of Indian Covishield vaccines was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles to India.
In response to the request from his counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a telephonic conversation with Sylvester L. Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles on January 19, 2021 informing him of India’s decision to supply Covishield vaccines to Seychelles as a gift from India and as a gesture of India-Seychelles special relationship.
Foreign Minister applauded India’s decision and said this once again proved that India is a true friend of Seychelles.
External Affairs Minister had also visited Seychelles on November 27-28, 2020 when he delivered a personal congratulatory message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the newly elected President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan and expressed warm felicitations on behalf of the people of India on his electoral victory.
Seychelles has also been one of the earliest beneficiaries of India’s Covid assistance at the beginning of the pandemic. Under Mission SAGAR, India had supplied 4 tonnes of Covid related essential medicines, including 50,000 tablets of HCQ to Seychelles in April-May 2020.