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Posted: Tuesday 1 February, 2022 at 2:58 PM

India willing to assist with more vaccines

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Government of India is willing to continue assisting St. Kitts and Nevis in the fight against Covid by providing more vaccines for the continuation of the local inoculation drive.


    That was the pledge made by India’s High Commissioner of India to Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and St. Kitts-Nevis, KJ Srinivasa, who recently visited the Federation and held discussions with local government officials, including those in the Ministry of Health.


    India, one of the Federation’s closest allies, has already provided assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis, including the providance of 15,000 doses of Astra Zeneca Vaccine and US$1 million to help upgrade local health infrastructure to aid in the fight against COVID-19.


    In his discussion with reporters, the High Commissioner noted that India has restarted its vaccine exports programme which was stopped after the country was devastated by its second wave of COVID-19, which turned out to be the Delta Variant. 


    Since the outbreak, the country has been able to vaccinate a significant amount of its population, as the Ambassador pointed out that 1.5 billion doses of vaccines have been administered in India. 


    That amount signifies that over 90 percent of all eligible adults have gotten their first dose of vaccine and about 70 percent of the same eligible adult population has gotten their second dose.


    The Government of India had also recently started a drive to begin inoculation of children under the age of 18 with an indigenous vaccine, which was approved by the World Health Organisation last year. 


    Now, they are willing to provide more assistance, including supplying more vaccines, according to Srinivasa, but no official request was made at the time of the media interaction.


    “We are still to get a request that this Government needs the vaccines,” he told reporters.


    Also, the assistance of a COVID digital software to aid with making records digital has been laid out on the table by the High Commisioner.


    “COWIn…is where you can track vaccination in real time…It is based on a QRcode. Most of the India vaccination cards have QRcodes so nobody can duplicate them,” he noted.


    Matters of mutual interest between the two countries were discussed including the offering of nurses and doctors to assist with filling the gap, and, at the same time, provide expertise.


    “We have offered help in procuring nurses from India. Because nurses from India are in high demand in the US, UK, in the European Union and the Gulf countries, etc,” noted Srinivasa.


    For a number of years, India has been providing assistance to St. Kitts-Nevis and that country has further extended a hand of courtesy to the Federal Government.


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