Lauding India’s move to send out covid-19 vaccine to other nations amid the pandemic, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Alfonso Browne on Monday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for demonstrating an “act of benevolence, kindness and empathy” by sending 175,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to the Caribbean countries.
“Today several Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, received 175,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from India. Of the 175,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 40,000 were donated to the people of Antigua and Barbuda. For this, we are extremely grateful. PM Narendra Modi has demonstrated perhaps the most significant act of benevolence, kindness and empathy that was seen in recent times compared to any act of any other leader globally,” Browne said.
His statement came hours after Made-in-India coronavirus vaccines reached Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines and Suriname.
The Antigua and Barbuda PM said he was ‘overwhelmed’ after receiving the vaccines from India, which itself has to administer over a billion vaccines to its citizens.
“Despite having its own problems, India that has a population of about 1.367 billion people would obviously require to administer over billion vaccines in order to achieve herd immunity. However, notwithstanding its own requirements, India made several million vaccines available to developing countries globally,” he said.
Referring to the Bible, the Prime Minister said, “On behalf of the people of the Caribbean, I wish to take this opportunity to personally thank PM Modi for this act of benevolence. The Bible has taught us to share, in fact, the good book indicated that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves and it is evident that India is practising this principle of helping its neighbours.”
Browne further said that India is assisting the Caribbean countries even though it is “not exactly neighbours of India as we are located in western hemisphere while India is in the northern hemisphere”.
Saint Kitts and Nevis PM Timothy Harris received 20,000 COVID-19 vaccines at the St Kitts airport from the High Commissioner of India, India in Guyana informed in a tweet.
Meanwhile, 40,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines that arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines were received by PM Ralph Gonsalves.