25 March 2021, New Delhi
India has placed a temporary hold on all exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, BBC reported.
According to the report, the decision was taken in view of rising cases of COVID-19 in the country that could give rise to domestic demand in the coming weeks.
The move – described as a “temporary squeeze” by officials – is expected to affect supplies until the end of April.
Some 190 countries including Nepal under the Covax scheme are likely to be affected due to this decision.
The scheme, which is led by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to ensure vaccines are shared fairly among all nations.
India’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India (SII), has delayed shipments of the AstraZeneca jab to several countries in recent days, including the UK and Brazil.
India has exported more than 60 million vaccine doses to 76 countries so far, with the majority of these being the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.
The decision comes as India faces a surge in coronavirus cases. On Wednesday it recorded its sharpest daily rise this year, with more than 47,000 new cases and 275 deaths.
(With inputs from BBC)