New York, January 23: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has invoked Lord Hanuman as he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing two million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to fight the deadly coronavirus infection in his country, one of the worst-hit nations by the pandemic.
India, one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, on Friday began commercial exports and sent two million doses of domestically manufactured Covishield vaccine to Brazil.
Tweeting an image of Hindu god Hanuman carrying a mountain of coronavirus vaccine to Brazil, Bolsonaro thanked India for helping his country with the jabs.
“Namaskar, Prime Minister @narendramodi. Brazil is honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle. Thank you for helping us with vaccine exports from India to Brazil. Dhanyavaad!” read the post accompanying the picture.
The image was a reference to a tale in the Ramayana epic wherein Lord Hanuman lifted the entire Govardhan mountain to deliver ‘Sanjeevni booti’, a magical life-saving herb, to Lanka to save Lord Ram’s brother Lakshman, who was wounded in a war.
Brazil’s Health Ministry has said the vaccine from India landed in Sao Paulo on Friday before being flown to Rio de Janeiro, where state-run Fiocruz Institute is based, the Associated Press reported.
Fiocruz has an agreement to produce and distribute the vaccine, the report said.
In April, India also provided the Latin American country raw materials for the production of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.
Brazil, has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in the world next only to the United States. The total number of cases are over 8.7 million and 2,14,000 deaths related to COVID-19 have been recorded.
India has undertaken contractual supplies of coronavirus vaccines to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in New Delhi on Friday.
India is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.
India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.
While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, and Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.
India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic. (PTI)