New Delhi, especially under the Narendra Modi government, has maintained a very cordial relationship with African nations, always standing by their side and deepening the bond.
New Delhi: India has, so far, supplied more than 25 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to 41 countries in Africa, including nearly one million doses as a grant to 16 countries and more than 16 million doses under the COVAX facility to 33 countries.
The MEA statement came on Monday in the wake of global concern on the latest Corona variant Omicron that has hit many African countries. "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 MEA statement said.
The Government of India stands ready to support the countries affected in Africa in dealing with the Omicron variant, including supplies of 'Made-in-India' vaccines.
"Supplies can be undertaken through COVAX 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."
The Government of India has 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.
"Indian institutions would favourably consider cooperation in genomic surveillance and virus characterization related research work with their African counterparts," the statement said.
There has been global concern about the gradual spread of the heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, Nov 29, that it is likely to spread internationally and could pose a very high risk of infection. It could leave "severe consequences" in some places.
However, no Omicron-linked deaths had yet been reported, though further research was needed to assess its potential to escape protection against immunity induced by vaccines.