Maldives to purchase 300,000 vaccine doses from India

An agreement has been signed between the Government of Maldives, Serum Institute of India and Serum Institute of Life Sciences to purchase COVID-19 vaccines.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Sunday said the agreement to purchase the vaccines has been signed and that 300,000 doses of vaccine will be purchased from both companies. The vaccines will be received soon, and the second phase of vaccination, which is administering th e second dose of the vaccine, will begin in April, said HEOC. While the duration allocated for the first round of dose one inoculations end of March 15, the second round will resume after the new batch of vaccines are recieved, said HEOC.

The Finance Minister on March 11 signed and issued a declaration confirming that the Maldives will be signing agreements with the two Indian companies to procure COVID-19 vaccines from India after suspending certain provisions of the Public Finance Act. While the vaccines are available for procurement from specific parties only, the vaccines are being released globally under special procurement policies, said the declaration. The relevant authorities have advised that the signing of the agreement is necessary at this time, it said.

Therefore, four provisions of the Public Finance Act will be temporarily suspended under the power vested in the minister under the Public Finance Act. The suspended provisions are those on tender process, awarding of contract, advance payment of 15%, and compensation in case of delays. The suspensions will be applicable only on the agreement which will be signed with the two companies for the procurement of the vaccine and for the duration of the agreement. The Finance Ministry will be conducting an internal audit on the government’s spending under the agreement.

The government signed a similar agreement with Singapore’s AstraZeneca Company to purchase 700,000 doses of the vaccine earlier on December 31st. However, HEOC said the date on which the AstraZeneca vaccines will reach Maldives ican only be confirmed sometime next month.