India-Sourced Covid-19 Vaccines Arrive in the Maldives

A consignment of Oxford-AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute in India has been airfreighted to the Maldives under a special grant program between the two countries.

The Air India flight carrying the 100,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine landed at Velana International Airport at around 2:42pm on Wednesday.

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President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih addressed the nation shortly before the vaccines reached the island nation, and extended his sincere gratitude to the citizens of India and the Indian government, along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emphasizing the long-standing friendship between the two countries on a national and personal level.

The President described the supply of vaccines as a wave of new hope, but called on Maldivians to remain vigilant and aware of health guidelines. 

“My advice is to listen and adhere to the advice of health professionals,” stated the President in his address. “Wear a mask when you go out. Temporarily stop public gatherings of large crowds with contact. Wash your hands and practice good hygiene and maintain social distance.”

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has opened registration to receive Covid-19 vaccine doses on Monday through its online portal, and announced that vaccines would be administered to the public, with frontline workers prioritized and set to receive the first doses along with high-risk elderly persons.

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