India sends 5 lakh doses of Covaxin to Afghanistan as humanitarian aid

India on Saturday sent the second tranche of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August of last year. This tranche included 5 lakh doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 jab – Covaxin.

The humanitarian aid was flown to Kabul by a flight of Iran’s Mahan air.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi, said in a tweet that the Covid-19 vaccines were handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul.

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Afghanistan’s envoy to India, Farid Mamundzay, said in a tweet: “Another batch of additional 500,000 doses would be supplied in coming weeks. Thank you India for providing Afghan people life saving gift on the first day of 2022! I hope this year would be peaceful & prosperous for all Afghans.”

“Another batch of additional 500,000 doses would be supplied in coming weeks,” said a press statement by the MEA.

Last year, India announced that it would send 50,000 tonnes of wheat and medicines to Afghanistan by road through Pakistan. India and Pakistan are still in the process of finalising the modalities for transportation.

India, in December 2021, delivered 1.6 tonnes of medical assistance to Afghanistan through the World Health Organization (WHO).

On November 10, India hosted a regional dialogue on Afghanistan that was attended by the National Security Advisors of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Like several other countries, India too is yet to recognise the Taliban as the new government in Afghanistan.