Wednesday, January 20, 2021

COVID-19: Vaccine shipment from India arrives in Maldives

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines extended by the Indian government, on Wednesday, arrived at Velana International Airport (VIA) at approximately 1440 hrs.

The Indian consignment, delivered via an Air India flight, contained Oxford Astrazeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India, which are intended to cover frontline health workers and senior citizens.

Indian High Commissioner to Maldives Sunjay Sudhir handed over the shipment of vaccines in a special ceremony held at VIA.

In his speech, the high commissioner stated that the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines marked another milestone in India-Maldives bilateral relations. He emphasized the fact that Maldives had received the vaccine within 96 hours of its country-wide rollout in India.

High Commissioner Sudhir concluded his address by expressing hope that the vaccine would help Maldives to save lives, ameliorate the suffering of the Maldivian people and facilitate economic recovery.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem also spoke at the event, expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Modi and Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar for the generous donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Maldives.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih welcomed the donation from India in a video message broadcast across the nation ahead of the delivery, describing it as a step forward in Maldives' efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president conveyed gratitude to the Indian government, people and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of himself and the Maldivian government.

He went on to express hope that all citizens and foreign individuals in Maldives would be immunized for free in the upcoming months.

20/01/21 Mariyam Malsa/Edition

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