India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the “special friendship” between India and Barbados.
Modi and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley took to Twitter this week to praise each other.
Mottley profusely thanked Modi, via social media, for the 200,000 vaccines sent from India to Barbados, 100,000 of which were donated.
Mottley had written to Modi herself in January requesting vaccines, and received a swift reply and vaccine gift which she shared with Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
This week, Mottley tweeted a photo of Modi receiving his Covid-19 vaccine, commending his generosity in giving to others before he got himself.
In her tweet on Wednesday, she said: “PM Modi @narendramodi made it possible for more than 40K persons in Barbados and tens of thousands elsewhere, to receive their 1st dose of COVISHIELD via #VaccineMaitri before receiving his. A genuine demonstration of generosity. Thank you and we wish you continued good health.”
On Thursday, Modi responded to Mottley’s tweet, saying New Delhi and Bridgetown shared a “special friendship” had always helped bridge geographic distances between the two nations.
Modi tweeted: “Thank you PM @miaamormottley. Special friendship between our nations has always helped us bridge geographic distances. #VaccineMaitri is proud to support the vaccination efforts of Barbados and other Caricom countries.”
Barbados leading the way
A Barbados Nation report this week said Barbados is in the process of a mass Covid-19 vaccination programme, following the donation of 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India.
It said with some 25,000 people—approximately 12.5 per cent of the adult population—receiving their first shots within just two weeks, Barbados leads the way as the most vaccinated country in the Caribbean.
Barbados has a population of 287,025.
The first wave of vaccinations was distributed to front-line workers, including those in the tourism sector, as well as the vulnerable population, including the elderly and persons with comorbidities.
Now, all citizens over 18 are coming forward to get their first dose of the vaccine.
To ensure widespread protection, the Barbados government has signalled its intent to obtain more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for people on the island, whether they are citizens or not, by the end of April or early May.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes vaccination as a critical tool in reducing the impact of Covid-19 worldwide.
India, dubbed the “world’s pharmacy”, is at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 and is emerging as a key supplier of vaccines to over 70 countries on a commercial and humanitarian basis.
According to its Ministry of External Affairs, India has so far supplied 46.10 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine globally.