India-Myanmar agree to jointly produce, distribute and supply COVID-19 vaccine
In the wake of the Covid-19 challenge, India and Myanmar have come together to collaborate on development of COVID-19 vaccine. The first round of discussion took place earlier this week. Top Officials from both sides held a virtual discussion on the possible joint production, distribution and supply of COVID-19 vaccine.
Officials from Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Public Health, Myanmar participated in these discussions
This step by India can be seen as a boost to India's Act East policy.
During his visit to Myanmar, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla had hinted at India’s willingness to prioritise Myanmar in sharing the vaccine. It was during this meeting held earlier this month, that Shringla handed over 3000 vials of Remdesivir to state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as a symbol of India‘s commitment to helping Myanmar mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
India has also offered e-ITEC courses relating to COVID-19 pandemic to Myanmar that have been conducted by premier Indian Institutes such as AIIMS (Raipur, Bhubaneshwar and Jodhpur), PGI Chandigarh .
On collaboration against COVID, Myanmar's envoy Moe Kyaw Aung told WION, 'We have informed to the Indian side that Myanmar will participate in the development of a vaccine.'
Amid the COVID crisis, India has been reaching out to countries in the region and across the world and Myanmar is no different. India provided more than $1 million worth of COVID assistance to Myanmar.
The increase in engagement is in line with India's stated policy that India's vaccine will be used to help all humanity. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his speech at United Nations General Assembly in September said, 'As the largest vaccine producing country of the world, I want to give one more assurance to the global community today. India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. We are moving ahead with phase 3 clinical trials in India and in our neighbourhood. India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of Vaccines.'
Amid the pandemic, India had sent anti covid medicines to around 150 countries. Indian Scientists and Research Teams are collaborating and strengthening the research capacities in neighbouring countries like Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka when it comes to the pandemic. New Delhi has received requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.