India will start supplying Covid-19 vaccine to its neighbouring nations, including Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from January 20 as part of its commitment to help all in fighting the disease. 

As far as Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius, the government is also awaiting their confirmation for necessary regulatory clearances. 

"The government has received several requests for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries. In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to using its vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of the humanity fight the Covid pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from 20 January," the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday. 

In the coming weeks and months, India will continue to deliver the vaccines to partner countries, keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout.

The decision to supply in a phased manner has been taken in a bid to ensure that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad.

On January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the nationwide vaccination drive, wherein the frontline health workers have been covered in the first phase.

During the global outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, India had supplied hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries.

It had also provided training to several neighbouring countries to enhance and strengthen their clinical capabilities, under the Partnerships for Accelerating Clinical Trials (PACT) programme.