Covid-19: Maldives asks India for early supply of already contracted one-lakh vaccines

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on April 16, 2021

Foreign Minister Shahid makes a case for continued assurance for the supply of essential commodities in meeting with Jaishankar

The Maldives has asked India for the early supply of the rest of the 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines it has already contracted for and the renewal of the notification of assured supply of essential commodities to the country, sources have said.

“In a meeting with Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Friday, his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid expressed appreciation for the supply of Indian vaccines that has helped the revival of tourism in the country, but said that the remaining 100,000 doses, already contracted, should be supplied soon,” a source tracking the matter told BusinessLine.

Maldives was one of the first countries to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India when it was gifted 1,00,000 doses in January. This was followed by a second shipment of vaccines sent as gift to the island nation the following month. But with the number of cases increasing steadily in the country, Maldives is now keen to get its commercially contracted shipment of 1,00,000 doses soon, the source said. On the other hand, India, which is faced with a deluge of new cases daily, is struggling to meet its domestic demand for vaccines.

Shahid is in New Delhi on a two-day trip and met Jaishankar, who visited Maldives in February this year. Shahid also participated in the Raisina Dialogue through virtual mode.

The Maldivian Minister requested India to renew a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification regarding the assured supply of essential commodities to Maldives from India as per the bilateral trade agreement. These commodities include potatoes, onions, rice, wheat flour, sugar, dal and eggs. “The Indian Minister assured that the commitment will be honoured,” the source said.

Published on April 16, 2021

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