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Duterte also eyes talks with Indian leader over supply of vaccines
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte has no immediate scheduled meeting with fellow world leaders but the President had mentioned a possible engagement with Modi.
Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez

Duterte also eyes talks with Indian leader over supply of vaccines

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - April 16, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte may talk to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure more COVID-19 vaccines for the Philippines, Malacañang said yesterday, as governments grapple with a tight supply of pandemic jabs.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte has no immediate scheduled meeting with fellow world leaders but the President had mentioned a possible engagement with Modi.

“There is no immediate schedule available but the President mentioned Prime Minister Modi previously because (India) is one of the major sources of our vaccines,” Roque said in Filipino when asked about the leaders who would meet with Duterte to discuss the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Last Tuesday, Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed in a teleconference – among other topics – the need to cooperate in dealing with the pandemic especially in ramping up production of vaccines.

The Philippines is ordering 20,000,000 doses of Russian vaccine Sputnik V as part of its goal to inoculate 70 million people by yearend.

Duterte was scheduled to deliver a public address last night, where he was expected to discuss details of his conversation with Putin, Roque said.

During a phone conversation with Duterte last June, Modi expressed readiness to supply the Philippines with affordable COVID-19 medicines and pharmaceutical products.

“Prime Minister Modi assured the supply of affordable medicines and COVID-19 pharmaceutical products to the Philippines, including hydroxychloroquine,” a Palace statement released after the phone conversation read.

“Prime Minister Modi likewise said that India is ready to extend all possible cooperation to the Philippines and that the Philippines will definitely benefit from the vaccine that India is developing,” it added.

The Philippines recently signed a supply deal for 30 million doses of COVID-19 shots developed by American firm Novavax. The vaccines will be supplied by the Serum Institute of India and are expected to be delivered in the third or fourth quarter.

The Philippines has administered 1,255,760 COVID-19 vaccine doses as of April 13. A total of 1,093,651 persons have received the first dose while 162,065 got two doses.

The government expects the arrival of more than 16 million vaccine doses within the second quarter, the bulk of which is likely to be delivered in June. A total of 13.5 million doses of COVID-19 shots are expected to arrive in July and as much as 20 million doses are scheduled to be delivered each in August and September.

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