Mumbai: Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on Tuesday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and New Delhi for India’s rapid response to the 35,000 COVID-19 vaccines that could protect its country’s 72,000-strong population from the deadly virus.
PM Skerrit, who sought the vaccine on 19 January, said he did not expect to be vaccinated so soon.
On Tuesday, an aircraft was vaccinated for the Douglas – Charles Airport of Dominica, neighbouring the Barbados Air National Guard.
PM Skerritt and his cabinet colleagues formally received the vaccines; He also helped land some boxes of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by plane.
“I must admit that I had not imagined that the prayers of my country would be answered so fast. One must have thought and understood that in a global pandemic such as this, a nation may have a size and primary idea. But it is to the credit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that our request was considered on merit and the equality of our people was recognised,” PM Skerrit said at a formal ceremony at the airport held soon after the plane with the vaccines arrived.
“Tonight marks the beginning of the fight against the virus by the Caribbean islands that have endangered the livelihoods of the people of every CARICOM (Caribbean community),” he said.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 10, 2021
The Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, is a group of twenty countries, consisting of 15 member states and 5 associate members.
The Dominican prime minister echoed the sentiment in a ‘thank you’ note that he wrote to PM Modi.
“In 2020, like many countries around the world, we received an extraordinary setback from the COVID-19 crisis. However, your vaccines will allow us to move forward with renewed hope and optimism, and to re-implement the many projects affecting the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Dominican PM said.
“Thanks to the kindness of the Indian nation, 35,000 Dominicans will be vaccinated by April 2021… India has once again come to Dominica’s aid, and this too will not be forgotten,” he wrote.
India’s donation of 35,000 vaccines to Dominica is part of PM Modi’s pledge to help other countries overcome the challenges of the pandemic. Apart from India’s neighbouring countries, India has approved commercial supply of around 24 million vaccines to 25 countries including Uganda, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Morocco and Namibia in February.