NEW DELHI: Sweden’s International Development Cooperation Minister Per Olsson Fridh took to Twitter to announce that Sweden plans to donate 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to India via the UN-backed COVAX, an initiative devised to give countries access to coronavirus vaccines regardless of their wealth.
He announced it Monday on Swedish broadcaster SVT that “we see how the pandemic is raging around the world. People are dying, poverty is spreading, and children are still not back at school.”
“We need to do everything we can to face this pandemic and fight it across the world.”
His tweet says, “Sweden announces today our plans to donate one million vaccine doses to COVAX. No one is safe until everyone is safe. Hope more countries will follow our lead.”
Situation w #covid19 in #India makes the need for doses even more urgent right now. 🇪🇺 mechanism important to find solutions for large scale donations from EU and member states. @JuttaUrpilainen Also urge the US to donate through Covax. @SamanthaJPower
— Per Olsson Fridh (@thinkper) May 3, 2021
He also said, “Situation with covid-19 in India makes the need for doses even more urgent right now. European Union mechanism important to find solutions for large scale donations from EU and member states. Also, urge the US to donate through Covax.”
The donation will have no impact on the rollout in Sweden which has decided to only administer the AstraZeneca shots to people 65 and over. The country’s vaccine coordinator Richard Bergstrom said there are enough spare vaccines that Swedes can give away, adding “This is just a million … we actually have another 4 or 5 million more of Astra Zeneca’s vaccine that we can share later.”
India on Monday reported a minor dip in new cases as the country reported 3,68,147 new infections in the last 24 hours. The tally was lower than the previous day high of 3,92,488 new COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday. A dip of 24,341 cases recorded in the last 24 hours, similar to the figures reported on Sunday.
The total number of infections now stands at 1,99,25,604 cases in the country. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as many as 3,417 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, down from 3689 deaths reported on Sunday. With more than 3400 deaths the total death tally in the country rose to 2,18,959 lives lost to date.
(With PTI inputs)