Japan is planning to offer COVID-19 vaccines for free to all its citizens, Kyodo news reported on Wednesday.
In order to undertake this massive and noble project, the Japanese government is aiming to stock enough COVID-19 vaccines for all citizens by the middle of next year.
Meanwhile, Japan on Monday announced to extend an emergency support loan of up to 50 billion yen (almost Rs 3,500 crore) to India to help the latter in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki and CS Mohapatra, additional secretary in India’s department of economic affairs exchanged notes regarding the provision of the yen loan for the response to the COVID-19 emergency.
“In response to the spread of the COVID-19 infection, the Government of India has taken several measures, including health sector reforms, under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. This loan provides the necessary funds for emergency response in the fight against COVID-19 in India,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.
“This financial support will support the implementation of health and medical policy by the Government of India, and will lead to the development of hospitals equipped with ICUs and infection prevention and management facilities, which are undersupplied in India,” it added.
“It is also expected to lead to the enhancement of telemedicine using digital technology in numerous villages across India. It is expected that these measures, in addition to controlling the spread of infection in the country, will also contribute to the recovery and stability of the country’s society and economy, as well as to sustainable development,” the Embassy said.
The terms and conditions of the loan include an interest rate of 0.01per cent per annum and a redemption period of 15 years, including a four-year grace period.
Suzuki and Mohapatra also exchanged notes for the provision of grant aid worth 1 billion yen under Japan’s Official Development Assistance scheme for India’s Economic and Social Development Programme, which is being implemented by the health ministry.
“This programme will provide Oxygen Generators to Government of India. Oxygen Generators can be employed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients under critical conditions. This programme will lead to the strengthening of India’s infectious disease countermeasures, as well as her health and medical systems,” the Japanese Embassy said.