Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Microsoft founder Bill Gates exchanged messages on Twitter, with the billionaire philanthropist congratulating India on administering its two billionth Covid vaccine.
Thanking Gates, the prime minister called India's vaccination drive 'big on speed and scale' and said it is 'powered by (the) collective efforts of many, including scientists, doctors, and nurses'. The prime minister also praised the citizens of the country, saying that they had shown 'remarkable faith in science' to receive the vaccination.
"India's vaccination drive is big on speed and scale. It has been powered by the collective efforts of many, including scientists, doctors, and nurses. At the same time, the people of India have shown remarkable faith in science and taken their doses in a timely manner."
Earlier, Gates had shared a Hindustan Times report and said, "Congratulations prime minister Narendra Modi for yet another milestone of administering 200 crore vaccinations. We are grateful for our continued partnership with Indian vaccine manufacturers and the Indian government for mitigating the impact of Covid-19."
A year after the launch of the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination drive, India administered its two billionth dose on Sunday. On Saturday, the government had set up a digital clock that was ticking down the number of doses left to reach that target.
Shortly after it was met, PM Modi had said: "India creates history again! Congrats to all Indians on crossing the special figure of 200 crore vaccine doses. Proud of those who contributed to making India's vaccination drive unparalleled in scale and speed. This has strengthened the global fight against Covid-19."
The two billion-target was also met as the government begins a 75-day campaign for free booster shots at government-run vaccination centers.
This morning India reported 20,557 new Covid cases in the preceding 24 hours - an increase of 32 per cent from the day before. The active Covid caseload in the country is over 1.45 lakh.