Former High Commissioner to Canada Vishnu Prakash speaking to ANI on Thursday. Photo/ANI
Former High Commissioner to Canada Vishnu Prakash speaking to ANI on Thursday. Photo/ANI

Canada has supply-side constraints on vaccines, PM Modi, Trudeau had substantive discussion: Vishnu Prakash

By Ranu Joardar | Updated: Feb 11, 2021 21:58 IST


New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): Former High Commissioner to Canada Vishnu Prakash has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau had a very constructive and substantive discussion during their phone conversation on Wednesday and Ottawa had sought India's support with vaccines to tide over the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic.
Vishnu Prakash told ANI that Canada had booked about 200 million doses of vaccines but has supply-side constraints. He said there is a lot of angst among the Canadians that encouraged PM Trudeau to reach to India, a tried and tested friend.
"I am very happy that the two Prime Ministers had a very constructive and substantive discussion. One of the aspects of the discussion was that PM Trudeau sought India's support assistance with vaccines to tide over the challenge of the pandemic they are facing. Unfortunately, Canada is in the grip of the second wave," he said.
PM Modi on Wednesday received a telephone call from PM Trudeau in which the Canadian leader informed about his country's requirements of COVID-19 vaccines from India.
PM Modi assured Trudeau that India would do its best to support Canada's vaccination efforts, just as it had done for many other countries already.
Vishnu Prakash said the intensity of cases in Canada is quite a lot.
"The intensity is quite a lot given the numbers. The absolute numbers don't tell you the story but in relative terms with a population of mere 38 million to have 10,000 cases on January 3 and 2,000-3000 cases, every day now would roughly translate into 100,000 cases in India. Meanwhile, thanks to the bold initiatives of the country, the efforts of our healthcare providers we are fortunately down to about 10,000 or even less than that," he said.
"Although they had booked about 200 million doses of vaccines, which is five times the requirement yet they have supply-side constraints. Unfortunately, the administration of the vaccine has not been handled in a way that it should have been handled. I am not passing any judgement, just saying what the Canadians are saying. They started on December 16, one of the first countries to start the vaccination programme, but so far they have managed to administer to only about 1.1 million people. That is their challenge that they do not have enough vaccines and the logistics have not been worked out," he said.
Referring to PM Modi's announcement that India sees international cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as its duty, Vishnu Prakash said the Prime Minister assured the Canadian leader that everything possible will be done to meet its requirements of COVID-19 vaccine.
"There is a lot of angst among the Canadians that encouraged PM Trudeau to reach to a tried and tested friend -- India, which is the world's pharmacy. It is because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to the comity of nations that our vaccine will be the vaccine for the humanity that the Indian PM responded to Trudeau with warmth and assured that everything possible will be done," he said.
"There is a health crisis all over the world. It is not just a normal health crisis. We have very warm feelings for the people of Canada and anything that India can do to assist the people of Canada is a pleasure and a privilege. It is in that spirit that PM Modi spontaneously reacted to say that we will do everything that is possible," he added. (ANI)

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