- Indian government's dream of vaccinating an estimated 317 million people has been finally fulfilled
- This is as the Asian Development Bank on Thursday approved the country's $1.5 billion loan request
- India has so far served 1.19 billion vaccine doses as the country aims at vaccinating nearly 945 million people aged 18 years and above
In an effort steered towards fighting COVID-19, India has made a request for loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The country said it will use the money to make procurement of as many as 667 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, The Hindu reports.
While adding that an estimated 317 million people are targeted for the vaccine, Indian government said it is expected to co-finance an additional $500 million for vaccine procurement.
Loan request granted
Meanwhile, emerging reports from Reuters confirmed that a $1.5 billion loan has been approved for India by ADB.
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The bank made this disclosure on Thursday, November 25, in a statement, saying the loan would fund at least 667 million vaccine doses for an estimated 317 million people.
The Asian country has so far served 1.19 billion vaccine doses - at least one dose for 82% of its 944 million adults, with 44% of adults already vaccinated with a second dose.
India is aiming to fully vaccinate nearly 945 million people aged 18 years and above which is about 70% of its population.
WHO names COVID-19 strain in Africa
On Thursday, South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced the discovery of the new variant, B.1.1.529, and said 22 positive cases of the strain had so far been detected in the country.
According to the WHO’s statement, the technical advisory group on SARS-CoV-2 virus evolution (TAG-VE), an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of COVID-19, convened on Friday to assess the new variant.