PRIME MINISTER HARRIS JOINS INDIAN NATIONALS IN REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS; APPLAUDS INDIA’S CONTINUED SUPPORT DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 08, 2022 (SKNIS): On Sunday, February 06, 2022, High Commissioner of India Dr. K.J. Srinivasa commemorated India’s 73rd Republic Day with the first-ever Republic Day reception in St. Kitts and Nevis at the Tiranga Indian Restaurant.

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris was the featured speaker at the event and remarked on a number of areas of mutual cooperation between St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly health care.

“Over the last year-plus, we have seen India’s excellence, its compassion in its diplomacy and its sense of leadership when it became the first country to significantly utilize its vast competence and achievement in the development of pharmaceuticals to make vaccines then scarce in many developing countries available to the world. And in that regard, we want to extend our commendation and gratitude to the Indian High Commissioner for leading the efforts to ensure that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine would come to St. Kitts and Nevis in February of last year,” said Prime Minister Harris.

 The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis was gifted 20, 000 doses of the Made in India COVID-19 – COVISHIELD (Oxford University-AstraZeneca) vaccines by the Government of India. These vaccines aided the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis via the Ministry of Health to execute a mass vaccination campaign that has since gained recognition globally from the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).

“At that time, it was quite clear that no country would get out of the shadow of COVID-19, that there could be no victory until we are able to get a significant percentage of our population vaccinated. You will be well pleased to know, that St. Kitts and Nevis has been able to vaccinate 86.7 percent of its adult population with the first dose and significantly, it was the result of the timely arrival of India’s generous donation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. Today, without having to impose any vaccine mandate, St. Kitts and Nevis has one of the highest vaccination rates in the Caribbean region. This is no small achievement. We could well count as part of our success story attributed to you and attributed to the excellence of our organized response to the pandemic that even as we speak now St. Kitts and Nevis has one of the lowest death counts and death rates in the world. So, we are very pleased with that significant achievement. We want to continue to urge all to observe the pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical measures as we continue to fight this pandemic and all the variants that may come,” said Prime Minister Harris.

During the ongoing pandemic, the Government of India provided much-needed support to St. Kitts and Nevis. In 2020, they provided life-saving medicines and medical supplies worth US$ 100,000 and 10, 000 Hydroxychloroquine tablets to St. Kitts and Nevis as a gesture of goodwill in support of the fight against COVID-19.

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