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India-Myanmar increase engagement on joint development of COVID-19 vaccine

India and Myanmar have increased engagement to collaborate on joint development of COVID vaccine with the first round of discussion taking place earlier this week. Key Officials from both sides held a virtual discussion on the possible cooperation in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and this includes its joint production, distribution and supply.

During the visit of foreign secretary Harsh Shringla to Myanmar, he had indicated India’s willingness to prioritize Myanmar in sharing vaccines. It was in that visit that happened earlier this month, Shringla handed over 3000 vials of Remdesivir state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi as a symbol of India‘s commitment to helping Myanmar mitigate the impact of covid 19.

Myanmar’s envoy Moe Kyaw Aung on collaboration against covid 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 one million USD worth of covid assistance to Myanmar.

e-ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) Programme courses related to COVID-19 pandemic conducted by Indian Institutes such as AIIMS in Raipur, Bhubaneshwar and Jodhpur, PGI Chandigarh etc. has registered healthy participation from Myanmar side.

The increase in engagement is in line with India’s stated policy that India’s vaccine will be used to help all humanity.

Indian PM 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.

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