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Neighbourhood First: India sends COVID-19 vaccine to Bhutan India-Bhutan
Image: S Jaishankar Twitter page

Neighbourhood First: India sends COVID-19 vaccine to Bhutan

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 21 Jan 2021, 11:03 pm

Thimphu:  The Government of India has provided 150,000 doses of the ‘Made In India’ vaccine to the Royal Government of Bhutan as a testimony to the 'special relationship and uniquely close friendship' between India and Bhutan.

This consignment is a gift from the people and Government of India to the people and Government of Bhutan.

Ambassador of India Ruchira Kamboj handed over the vaccine consignment to the Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering in a ceremony held at Paro airport on 20 January 2021.

"An Indian aircraft AN32 carried the entire consignment of ‘Made In India’ vaccines into Bhutan. Bhutan is the first country to receive the vaccine from India," read a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Bhutan.

Vaccines in Bhutan have been received within five days of the launch of the world’s largest vaccination drive in India under the leadership of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on Jan 16.

The Prime Minister of India had stated on this occasion: “We are committed that India's vaccines, our production capacity, serve the interest of the whole of humanity.”

Prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, is being conducted on Jan 19-20 for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers from Bhutan, both at national and provincial levels. India has also provided training to Bhutanese healthcare professionals to enhance and strengthen their clinical capabilities, under the Partnerships for Accelerating Clinical Trials programme.

As a reflection of the special bonds of trust and understanding between India and Bhutan that have existed over decades, the Government of India had earlier also handed over ten consignments of medical supplies, portable X-Ray machine, essential medicines and medical equipment.

Going forward India will continue to stand by Bhutan, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar tweeted: "#VaccineMaitri begins. Consignment arrives in Bhutan. Another example of #NeighbourhoodFirst. "

Bhutan Foreign Ministry tweeted: " Our profound gratitude to the GoI for the generous gift of 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccines that Bhutan received today. Deeply grateful to GoI for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutan’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
@DrSJaishankar @RuchiraKamboj ."