Vaccines are in line with continued support to Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID pandemic: India

The consignment of COVID-19 vaccines would be gifted in keeping in line with India’s continued support to Sri Lanka’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said today.

It said the vaccine consignment from India will be transported in a special Air India flight tomorrow and they will be packed in tailor-made boxes for the purpose.

In a statement, the High Commission said under the Government of India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ policy, India will gift 500,000 doses of made in India COVISHIELD vaccines to Sri Lanka.

This will be ceremonially handed over by High Commissioner Gopal Baglay at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake tomorrow.

“In a remarkable coincidence, the consignment of COVISHIELD vaccine will arrive on the auspicious Duruthu Poya Day. As such the High Commissioner, who had first arrived in Sri Lanka to take up his assignment in the Vesak Week in May 2019 with 12.5 tons of medical supplies as gift by India to Sri Lanka for fighting COVID-19 pandemic, will pray at the sacred Gangaramaya Temple for the health and well being of the people of Sri Lanka. He will also seek the blessings of Ven. Dr. Kirinde Assaji Thera.

Oxford-Astrazeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine is manufactured by Serum Institute of India and the vaccine has been approved for emergency use by Sri Lanka.

The High Commission said four consignments of medical supplies weighing around 25 tonnes were donated by India, which also organised online experience-sharing programmes for Sri Lankan medical professionals.

“The two partners have also put up a joint front in the COVID-19 battle with India and Sri Lanka being the largest contributors to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for SAARC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had complimented Sri Lanka’s leadership on containing the pandemic,” it said.