West Indies cricketing legends including Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson and Jimmy Adams on Sunday expressed their gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for offering Covid-19 vaccine to Caribbean nations.
In a Twitter post shared by the Indian Embassy in Guyana, the international cricketers thanked PM Modi for his ‘kind generosity’ and the ‘wonderful contribution’ of ‘Made in India’ vaccines on behalf of the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
West Indies cricketing greats @ivivianrichards @RichieRich2000 #jimmyadams #ramnareshsarwan thank #India @PMOIndia @narendramodi for donation of #MadeInIndia @SerumInstIndia #CovishieldVaccine to #Antigua #Guyana @CARICOMorg @AntiguaOpm @OPTGY @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @drkjsrini pic.twitter.com/olM3FItD0N— India in Guyana (@IndiainGuyana) March 13, 2021
Legendary cricketer Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards said that he thanks India for its wonderful contribution of providing vaccines to his country.
“We thank you so much on behalf of the Antiguan and Barbadian people. We look forward to continued relations in the future. Thank you very much, Prime Minister Modi and the people of India, for the kind gesture,” said Sir Richards.
Jamaican cricketer Jimmy Adams said he was deeply grateful to the government of India as his home country, as well as Antigua had been benefitted from the Oxford-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
Former cricketers such as Richie Richardson and Ram Naresh Sarwan also thanked the Indian government for providing the much-needed vaccines to the Caribbean Islands.
On Sunday, Guyana received 80,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine under India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme. Taking to Twitter, the Indian Embassy in Guyana announced that the country’s Prime Minister Mark Phillips received the gift of vaccines from India, a testimony of its hand of friendship.
#Guyana PM Hon.Brig.(Retd) Mark Phillips & HC @drkjsrini receiving Indian gift of 80,000 doses of #MadeInIndia COVISHIELD vaccines – a testimony of India’s hand of friendship #VaccineMaitri @narendramodi @MEAIndia @IndianDiplomacy @mfaguyana @fcsanthony1 @OPTGY @ANI @PTI_News https://t.co/zqkLCyhCqx— India in Guyana (@IndiainGuyana) March 7, 2021
Earlier this month, the Modi government had sent around half a million Covid-19 vaccines to over 4 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries and Suriname. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said that the move came as part of India’s commitment to the Caribbean Community.
Following India’s gesture, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda had thanked PM Modi for providing over 500 thousand Covishield vaccines to the country and praised India for ‘generously and selflessly’ assisting the Caribbean in their fight against Covid-19.
Thanking PM Modi for the 500K AstraZeneca vaccines that he generously and selflessly shared with the Caribbean to assist in the fight against COVID.— OPMAntiguaBarbuda (@AntiguaOpm) March 1, 2021
📸circa 2019.@PMOIndia @IndiainGuyana @drkjsrini pic.twitter.com/mrx4Dcl8z9
Earlier, the Narendra Modi-led Indian government had sent 100,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine to Barbados under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative.
‘Vaccine Maitri’ diplomacy
India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has yet again come to the world’s aid by successfully supplying vaccines to its neighbouring and other developing countries at an extremely affordable cost, besides giving away millions of doses to friendly nations for free.
In February, the Modi government launched the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme to help poor countries amid the global pandemic. In this brief period, the country has delivered around 45.6 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech’s indigenous vaccine to around 70 countries.
India’s neighbour Bangladesh became the major recipient of Covid vaccines, having received 9 million doses to date. Morocco emerged as the second-largest recipient with commercial supplies of 2 million doses till February 24. Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have received India’s Covid-19 vaccines under grant assistance in tune with the country’s “Neighbourhood First’ policy.
Meanwhile, India has begun the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being inoculated to frontline health workers, senior citizens across the country. The country plans to vaccinate about 300 million citizens in the first six months.