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India stands by African countries hit by Omicron, ready to supply vaccines, life-saving drugs
 
New Delhi, Even as most countries began slapping travel bans on African countries, India on Monday offered support for Africa to combat the newly-emerged Omicron variant of the Covid-19 pandemic, including through supply of vaccines, life-saving drugs, PPE kits, gloves and ventilators.

"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," a late evening statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The Government of India stands ready to support the countries affected in Africa in dealing with the Omicron variant, including by supplies of Made-in-India vaccines.

It said supplies can be undertaken through the COVAX facility or bilaterally.

"In this regard, the Government has cleared all orders placed so far by COVAX for supplies of Covishield vaccines including to African countries like Malawi, Ethiopia, Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea and Lesotho.

"We have also cleared supplies of Covaxin to Botswana.

"Any new requirement projected either bilaterally or through COVAX will be considered expeditiously," it said.

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.

"Indian institutions would favourably consider cooperation in genomic surveillance and virus characterization related research work with their African counterparts," the statement said.

It added that India has, so far, supplied more than 25 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to 41 countries in Africa, including nearly 1 million doses as grant to 16 countries and more than 16 million doses under the COVAX facility to 33 countries.


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