Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley, on Friday, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking access for 2,00,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine for as the island country is very much in need to vaccines to provide necessary immunisation coverage for a large segment of the population of 2,87,000, the PM wrote.
“I am urgently soliciting the assistance of your Government to have access to 200,000 doses (for 100,000 citizens) of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being manufactured in your country. We would appreciate your kind consideration of half of the supply and, if necessary, we would be willing to purchase the other 100,000 doses should it meet your favorable consideration,” PM Motely wrote in her letter adding that the situation in her country has been exceptionally challenging as it has been affected by two waves of the virus.
PM Motley also underlined how India and Barbados have enjoyed a long history of good relations. She also said that Barbados’ economy is highly dependent on travel and tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a fall of 90 per cent in tourists’ arrival in 2020. This caused a significant fall in government revenue and economic activity, she wrote.
According to the letter, all medical and national security installations of Barbados have been heavily strained by the pandemic. “Persons who are on the front-line of our response to COVID-19 across the medical, protective services and border agencies will need to get immediate access to vaccines. Similarly, we need it for other critical people on the frontline,” she wrote.
Under the Vaccine Maitri commitment, India has already been shipping consignments of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in India – Covishield, and Covaxin by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech – to its neighbours. Countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and friendly nations such as Maldives, Seychelles, Brazil and Morocco have already received the first shipments.
Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Barbados’s neighbour in the Caribbean, also had written a letter to PM Modi seeking for Covishield vaccine doses.