India has gifted 80,000 doses of Serum Institute of India produced Covishield vaccine to Guyana

Prime Minister of Guyana Mark Phillips has expressed gratitude towards the Indian government for the donation of 80,000 doses of the Made-in-India vaccine.

“On behalf of President Mohamed Irfan Ali, government and people of Guyana, I wish to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government and people of India for the generous donation of the vaccines to the people of Guyana,” Prime Minister Phillips said on Sunday.

The Indian gift of 80,000 doses of Covishield vaccine arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Sunday and were immediately handed over to Prime Minister Phillips by High Commissioner of India to Guyana, K J Srinivasa, a report by Department of Public Information, Government of Guyana said.

“For every Guyanese let me put it simply, if you have the vaccine it means you can be guarded against dying from COVID-19… while we thank the Government of India for providing the vaccine, it is an opportunity for me to appeal to the Guyanese people to come forward and take the vaccine,” Prime Minister Phillips was quoted in the report.

The Prime Minister of Guyana added that the gift from India will help vaccination as Guyana continues with phase two of dealing with Covid-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister reiterated that Guyanese should not be fearful of taking the vaccine, but should rather embrace it to reduce their chances of fatality if they contract the virus.

The Indian High Commissioner, Srinivasa on Sunday said that the donation of the 80,000 vaccines to Guyana demonstrates India’s commitment as a first responder during times of crisis and marks another milestone in bilateral relations between the two countries.

Srinivasa emphasized that the vaccines were donated in the spirit of friendship and that the Indian Government expects nothing in return for the friendly gesture.

Pointing out that the foundation of these donations across the world lies in India’s belief of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, meaning the world is one family, Srinivasa called for working together to take care of each other and that is the philosophy behind these donations.

The Indian High Commissioner stressed upon that India donates these vaccines demanding nothing in return. He recalled that in 2020, India also donated US$1M to Guyana to upgrade the country’s health infrastructure capabilities.

“We do not ask for any quid-pro-quos, India is doing it in a spirit of collaboration, in a spirit of friendship and in a spirit of helping our friends who require these vaccines across the world,” Srinivasa further explained.