Mexico City, Apr 26 (EFE).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday expressed his solidarity with India, which is facing a huge wave of Covid-19 infections that is breaking world records, and he announced that he will provide AstraZeneca vaccine to the South Asian giant.
The Mexican leader, known colloquially as AMLO, mentioned at his regular morning press conference that in February he had contracted to have the Mexican government buy two million AstraZeneca doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII), a quantity that the country had hoped to double.
“In what way are we now providing support even with our limitations? Well, it was in the contract that was made with them that they were going to deliver another equal quantity of vaccine and I have already let them know that we’re not going to need it, that we understand the situation,” AMLO said.
At the National Palace, the Mexican president said he “greatly regrets” the situation in India, which on Monday surpassed 17 million confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 195,000 deaths, with daily infections exceeding 300,000, more than any other country.
India is in the No. 4 position in terms of Covid-19 deaths, behind Mexico, which has suffered almost 215,000 deaths and more than 2.3 million confirmed cases.
“We’ve expressed our solidarity to President (Narendra) Modi, who has behaved in a very supportive, very brotherly way, even on a personal level, when I was infected with Covid,” Lopez Obrador said.
In addition to Mexico, about a dozen countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, have offered to send medical supplies to India to help alleviate the crisis of resources that the nation of 1.3 billion people is experiencing.
The shipment of chemical components and active ingredients for the manufacture of medications is key for India, where the largest producer of vaccines in the world – the Serum Institute – is located, and where AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid vaccine is produced.
AMLO said that India should keep the extra doses Mexico originally had agreed to buy, arguing that his country already has guaranteed shipments of enough of the drug to meet its immunization goals, including vaccinating its more than 15 million elderly adults with at least one dose by the end of April.
“It’s a way of expressing our solidarity, and since we’re seeing to it that we don’t lack the vaccines, we’re doing fine,” he said.
Earlier this month, Mexico also authorized the emergency use of the anti-Covid Covaxin vaccine produced by India, although, so far, there is no plan in place to purchase the drug.
Mexico has contracted to receive shipments of 34.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 79.4 million AstraZeneca doses, 35 million CanSino doses, 24 million Sputnik V doses from Russia, 20 million doses of China’s Sinovac, 12 million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine and 51.4 million doses via the World Health Organization’s Covax platform.