Quad leaders will also exchange views on areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region

At the first ever Quad leadership-level meet to be held on Friday, India, Japan, Australia and the US will discuss ongoing efforts to combat Covid-19 pandemic and explore opportunities in ensuring safe, equitable and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region.

Adding more clarity to it, Reuters quoted a senior US official as saying that leaders of the four countries during the bloc’s virtual meeting, plan to announce financing agreements to support an increase in manufacturing capacity for coronavirus vaccines in India.

The financing agreements to be held among the four Quad members will focus particularly on companies and institutions in India manufacturing vaccines for American drugmakers Novavax Inc. and Johnson and Johnson, the official, who did not want to be identified by name, said.

The aim would be to reduce manufacturing backlogs, speed vaccination, and defeat some coronavirus mutations, the official said.

"The idea is that the quicker you can vaccinate, the more that you can defeat some of these mutations. So this is a capacity that will come online later this year, and it will substantially increase our capacity, collectively," the US official was quoted as saying.

Some of the additional vaccine capacity created in India would be used in vaccination efforts in Southeast Asian countries, the official added.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement released on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra along with Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison and Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga and President of US Joseph R. Biden will hold a meeting on Friday and will discuss regional and global issues of shared interest.

They will also exchange views on practical areas of cooperation towards maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

The summit will provide an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime security, and climate change, said the MEA.