Lanka congratulates India on vaccination drive | Daily News

Lanka congratulates India on vaccination drive

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for India’s landmark launch of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday.

“Congratulations PM @narendramodi and the Government of India on taking this very important step with this massive COVID19 Vaccination drive. We are starting to see the beginning of the end to this devastating pandemic,” he posted in his Twitter account also sharing the Indian Premier’s address to the Indians during the launch.

Replying to the above comment, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi replied: “Thank you @PresRajapaksa. The tireless efforts of our scientists and frontline workers have played a crucial role in the fight against this pandemic.

Fast development of vaccines and its launch is an important landmark in our joint endeavour for a healthy and disease-free world”.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and the indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for the massive inoculation drive initially covering 300 million people.

Sri Lanka is looking forward to receiving the ‘Oxford/AstraZeneca’ vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. During the bilateral talks between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar earlier this month, the latter has agreed to give priority to Sri Lanka when supplying its COVID-19 vaccines to other countries. This followed a request by President Rajapaksa to obtain the COVID-19 vaccines which are being produced by India.

Jaishankar said the two countries are now looking at post-COVID cooperation. He said that the pandemic has given both the countries an opportunity to work closely. “We are now looking at post-COVID cooperation and I carry back with me Sri Lanka’s interest in accessing vaccines from India,” said Jaishankar.

Calling it the world’s “largest vaccination programme”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive while reassuring the country that emergency use authorization was given to two made-in-India vaccines only after scientists were convinced of their safety and effectiveness.

“Indian vaccines compared with foreign vaccines are much cheaper and their use is also very easy. Even one dose of some foreign vaccines costs 5,000 Indian Rupees and has to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius, while the Indian vaccines have been made with such technology that is tried and tested. These vaccines, from storage to transportation, are suited to Indian conditions,” PM Modi said in his address ahead of the nationwide programme.

“India is guided by a human-centric approach that will always work to further global good. The Largest Vaccine Drive that started today is guided by humanitarian principles. That is why the vaccination drive first covers those who need it most, those who are tirelessly working on the frontline,” Indian Premier said in a tweet after the launch of the drive.

PM Modi launched the pan-India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing. He said that everyone had only one question in their minds and that is “when will the vaccine be available?” PM Modi said that the vaccine is now available and the world’s largest vaccination rollout will begin in a few minutes.

“With self-confidence and self-reliance, we fought with the virus. The pledge that we will not let our confidence down in this battle is shown by every Indian,” PM Modi said. “Today when we look at the last year, we realise that we have learnt a lot as a person, a family and as a nation. Today, when we start our vaccination drive, I want to remember those days when everyone wanted to do something but were not able to find a way due to Coronavirus,” he said.

PM Modi said that India was among the few countries in the world that, despite all the difficulties during the pandemic, ensured that “essential medicines and medical help reached around 150 nations”.

“Be it paracetamol or hydroxychloroquine or testing equipment, India has tried all possible ways to save other countries, too. Now that we have our own vaccine, even then the world is looking at India with hopeful eyes,” he said in the national address prior to the launch.