Thimphu/Colombo, Jan 16 (PTI) Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Sri Lankan premier Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday congratulated their Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for the landmark launch of the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive, hoping it would mitigate the sufferings endured by the people due to the pandemic.
Modi on Saturday launched the world's largest vaccination drive with healthcare workers at the frontline of India’s COVID-19 battle getting their first jabs, showing the light at the end of a 10-month tunnel that upended millions of lives and livelihoods.
Shots of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines were administered at medical centres across the country.
'I would like to congratulate PM @narendramodi and the people of India for the landmark launch of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive today. We hope it comes as an answer to pacify all the sufferings we have endured this pandemic,' Tshering tweeted.
In a similar post on his Facebook account, Tshering said that, 'in this pursuit of securing and distributing the vaccine of an impressive magnitude, Your Excellency has displayed profound and compassionate leadership.' 'We send prayers for the good health and well being of Your Excellency and the people of India,' Tshering added.
In his reply, Modi thanked Tshering for the good wishes.
'Thank you @PMBhutan! A vaccine, which was earlier believed to be impossible in such a short time period has become a reality thanks to efforts of our scientists, doctors and innovators,' he tweeted.
India is ready to do everything possible for a healthy planet, Modi said.
Rajapaksa took to Twitter to congratulate Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government on the launch of the vaccination drive.
“Congratulations PM @narendramodi and the Government of India on taking this very important step with this massive #COVID19Vaccination drive. We are starting to see the beginning of the end to this devastating pandemic,” the Sri Lankan prime minister said in the tweet.
Rajapaksa’s tweet came in response to the Indian High Commission’s post on Twitter acknowledging the vaccination drive.
“A human-centric approach to further global good,” the Indian mission’s tweet said.
Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, during his three-day visit to the country from December 5 to 7, told Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that India has agreed to give priority to Sri Lanka when supplying its COVID-19 vaccine to other countries.
The president told the Indian minister that Sri Lanka wishes to obtain the Indian vaccine.
Earlier, launching the drive, Modi reminded people that two doses of the vaccine are very important and asked them to continue with masks and social distancing even after receiving the jabs.
Reassuring people that emergency use authorisation was given to the two 'made in India' vaccines only after scientists were convinced of their safety and effectiveness, he said the vaccines will ensure a decisive victory for the country over the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dawaai bhi, kadaai bhi,” Modi said, asking people to guard against complacency and follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. PTI RS CPS AKJ CPS