India’s partners in the Quadruple Security Dialogue have intensified their efforts to bolster the Covid-19 response to neighboring countries and are searching other parts of the world for surplus stocks of AstraZeneca vaccine and providing emergency relief funds.
The moves of the other Quartet members – Australia, Japan and the United States – came as China sought to play a more important role in the region by providing Covid-19 vaccines and other supplies.
The United States is already looking for surplus stocks of AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe and other regions that could be used to help Bhutan, Nepal and other neighboring countries that affected vaccine supplies once India reduced its exports. In March to focus on the second wave of the vaccine. Covid 19 infection.
Australia recently announced $ 17.5 million in emergency relief funding to support Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in their response to the wave of Covid-19 cases. Japan supplies 25 portable diagnostic imaging ultrasound systems to hospitals in Nepal and plans to send 160 oxygen centers and six ambulances.
The Indian government’s decision to reduce vaccine exports had a major impact on vaccination campaigns in countries such as Nepal and Bhutan, which used the doses provided by India to deliver the first vaccines to hundreds of thousands of people. People familiar with the developments said, on the condition of anonymity, that it has been nearly three months since many people took the first strike in Nepal.
During a phone conversation on Monday, the Nepali foreign minister asked US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to “give her country due priority” in distributing the excess vaccines among developing countries. Collaboration in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic was a major part of the conversation, according to a reading from the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Since it is unlikely to resume vaccine exports from India anytime in the near future, the United States is looking to obtain doses of AstraZeneca from other parts of the world so that people in Bhutan and Nepal can receive the second dose.
“Some countries may start over with a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, but it is clear that if we can solve this problem by providing a second dose of AstraZeneca, that would be the simplest and best solution,” said US Chargé d’Affairs to the US, Daniel Smith. Earlier this month.
Aware of the risks of a second round of vaccines in countries like Nepal, Smith said the United States is looking to partner with other countries and increase vaccine production in India to make up for the shortfall.
Australia is providing emergency funding to neighboring countries to support partners on the ground. This will include oxygen, ventilators, and better contact tracing.
In Bangladesh, Australia will provide $ 5 million to partners such as the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society to purchase essential supplies, including oxygen and related equipment. This is in addition to $ 5.7 million previously provided for equipment and training.
In Nepal, Australia will provide $ 7 million for the purchase of essential equipment through the United Nations and NGO partners. Australia is already providing hospital equipment in the hardest-hit areas of Nepal and on the border with India, as well as testing and training kits for healthcare workers.
Australia will provide $ 5.5 million to the United Nations Fund for Sustainable Development in Sri Lanka for critical supplies and health systems. It has already provided more than $ 6.2 million in support of Covid-19 to Sri Lanka over the 2020-2021 period. Australia has also provided oxygen and related supplies through UNICEF, including 291 oxygen cylinders and 342 oxygen regulators.
India and its Quartet partners are closely watching China’s actions in the neighborhood, including the provision of vaccines as grants. On May 12, Bangladesh received 500,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine as a gift and the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka announced that the second batch of doses would be donated soon.
On Monday, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan Wang Yu announced on Twitter that Beijing will donate 700,000 doses of vaccines to Kabul.