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"India is a warning of possible events in other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that so far have seemingly escaped the pandemic, including in Africa," a report said.
A report co-authored by International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist Ruchir Agarwal and its Chief Economist Gita Gopinath on Friday said that the vaccine coverage in India is expected to be under the business-as-usual scenario remain under 35 percent of the population by the end of 2021.
"While India's health system held up fairly well in the first wave, this time its health system is so overwhelmed that many people are dying because of a lack of medical supplies like oxygen, hospital beds, and medical care," the IMF report said.
IMF reported that the current bilateral purchase of vaccines would cover only 25% of the population by the first half of 2021. For achieving 60% coverage, India will have to purchase 1 billion doses immediately.
"In this context, the authorities' recently announced financing of about USD 600 million to the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to boost production capacity in the near term is a welcome step," the report said, adding that authorities had estimated that two billion doses would be available by the end of 2021.
"Therefore, while current pre-purchases of vaccines plus coverage from the COVAX AMC remains around 25 per cent, the authorities intend to meet the residual needs through the additional production," IMF said.
"We still have to fight the long battle" IMF
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