India has donated $50 million worth of essential drugs to African countries as part of its cooperation with Africa to combat the covid-19 pandemic.
The Indian government had donated seven tonnes of a shipment of essential drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, and medicines, including antibiotics, to Nigeria on Friday.
The seven tonnes of the consignment (586 cartoons) were received by Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire on behalf of the federal government.
The envoy said it was very difficult to quantify the cost of the donated items: "I would like to say for all of Africa that our donation is more than $50 million.
"I'm talking about the whole of Africa."
Thakur said India is willing to cooperate with Nigeria in producing the COVID-19 vaccine because the country has made some progress in developing the vaccine.
He said: "There are many centres in India where serious work and research is being done; there are institutions working on the production of the vaccine all over India.
"One of the most promising is being developed by one of the institutions and has already entered the first phase of testing; we hope phase two will start soon.
"We look forward to hearing encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccine on India's upcoming Independence Day, August 15.
The envoy said India will continue to support Nigeria in building its human resource capacity while continuing to provide training under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (CETI).
"We offer short online seminars on COVID-19 management and research; there are about 10 programs; we are working together and will continue to do so.
"So far, 14 Nigerian medical professionals have benefited from online courses on COVID-19 management strategies in Africa.
"We are now focusing on capacity building, but we can also focus on research.I will take this message home and encourage some of our researchers to work with Nigeria on medical research.
He was optimistic that the measures taken by both countries have helped to control the spread of COVID-19.
"In fact, I would like to mention here what President Muhammadu Buhari said in his speech in early May, that India has adopted rigorous and very strict containment measures to contain the virus.
"The sharing of experience is very important and we look to each other in the fight against this pandemic.
India has had friendly, multifaceted and long-standing relations with Nigeria since the establishment of its Diplomatic House in Lagos in November 1958, two years before Nigeria's independence on 1 October 1960.
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