India's laboratory Bharat Biotech is still waiting for clearance on the part of the Asian country's Government for the shipment of the 2 million doses of anticoronavirus vaccines purchased by Paraguay, it was reported Tuesday.
Paraguay's Deputy Economic Relations and Integration Minister Raúl Cano Ricciardi Tuesday held a videoconference with representatives of Bharat Biotech to speed up the delivery of the Covaxin drugs.
However, the laboratory explained that they still do not have the government's authorization to send the doses, but assured that Paraguay would be one of the first countries to receive the vaccines at the earliest.
Therefore, Paraguay's Foreign Ministry announced it would take over the negotiations and seek direct contact with its Indian counterpart.
Paraguay had received a total of 200,000 donated doses of Covaxin and, subsequently, the Government closed an agreement for the shipment of 2 million doses. No dose has come from this contract so far.
The Government of India suspended the export of vaccines after criticism about a shipment of doses greater than those spared for the local population, where infections and deaths were on the rise, as unofficial sources reported the number of fatalities would be 10 times the official count of 400,000.
Paraguay has signed a contract for the delivery of the Covaxin drug with the same company under investigation for an alleged bribe attempt of Brazilian officials which has put President Jair Bolsonaro under the spotlight. However, the deal was never closed, which has allowed Bolsonaro to say “I didn't buy, I didn't pay any money” when accused of malfeasance regarding the purchase of overpriced immunizers.
The Singapore-based Madison Biotech company has brokered both deals - the one in Brazil which never came to be and the one in Paraguay which is still in a trade limbo. Bharat Biotech still has time to start shipments in July, it was reported.