While extending solidarity towards nations, particularly in Africa, who are fighting against the 'Omicron' (B.1.1.529 variant) of COVID outbreak, India stated on November 29 that it is ready to provide Made-in India vaccines, test kits, PPE kits, gloves, essential life-saving drugs, and any other medical equipment such as ventilators.
We Express Our Solidarity
Ministry of External Affairs, in their official release, stated:
"We have noted the emergence of a new variant of Covid-19, Omicron. We express our solidarity with the countries, particularly in Africa, who have so far been affected by the Omicron variant."
The statement also added that India stands ready to help all the nations who are affected in Africa in their fight against the B.1.1.529 variant, which includes supplying the counties with Made-in-India COVID vaccines. These earlier-mentioned supplies can be undertaken bilaterally or COVAX.
Furthermore, the Government of India has also cleared all the orders placed by COVAX for the supplies of Covishield COVID vaccines so far including to African nations like Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Lesotho and Guinea.
"We have also cleared supplies of COVAXIN to Botswana. Any new requirement projected either bilaterally or through COVAX will be considered expeditiously. India also stands ready to supply essential life-saving drugs, test kits, gloves, PPE kits and medical equipment such as ventilators, as may be required,"
the statement said.
India: A Good Ally
So far, India has pushed out more than 25 million doses of vaccines to 41 countries in Africa that are Made-in-India, which also includes almost one million doses to 16 nations as a grant and more than 16 million doses to 33 nations under the COVAX facility.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has categorised the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa, as a "variant of concern". Furthermore, more and more people are testing positive with this new variant in nearly every province in South Africa.