Arrival of vaccines from India.

Rishard Khan

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The 40,000 doses of COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines from India has arrived in T&T.

The vaccines came via a flight that landed at the Piarco International Airport Tuesday night.

In a release, the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs said the delivery “further strengthens the longstanding relationship between the Governments and people of both countries.”

The doses will be transferred to the Ministry of Health and added to the current stock of COVID-19 vaccines which are being used to inoculate the population.

In his remarks on handing over of the vaccines, India High Commissioner to T&T Arun Kumar Sahu urged citizens to avail themselves of the doses.

“I urge all Trinbagonians to believe in science and take the vaccine if they are eligible and vaccines are available. It is our duty and responsibility to be safe and keep others safe,” he said.

Among those he thanked included Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs Dr Amery Browne, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and India’s External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

The Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs credited the procurement to Prime Minister Rowley’s appeal to India.

“This was as a result of the gracious response from the Honourable Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India to a letter sent by Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 23rd February, 2021,” it said.

Despite this, the Indian High Commissioner also thanked Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for her letter to the Indian Prime Minister- a move which gathered heavy criticism from government officials and members of the public.

“I also thank the Leader of Opposition, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissesar, for her letter to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Modi. We understand and value her sentiments. The people of India are proud of her achievements and struggle. Many in India look up to her as a beacon of women empowerment,” Sahu said.

The doses were initially carded to arrive on Monday but were delayed due to inclement weather.