New Delhi: India on Tuesday handed over to Cambodia 325,000 doses of Made in India Covishield vaccines under the Quad Vaccine Partnership scheme.

Indian Ambassador to Cambodia Devyani Khobragade, along with representatives from the embassies of Australia, Japan and US to Cambodia, jointly handed over a consignment of 325,000 doses of Made in India Covishield vaccines to the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.

The vaccines have been gifted by India as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to donate 500,000 doses of Covid vaccines to the Indo-Pacific under the Quad vaccine initiative.

The Quad Vaccine Partnership was announced by the Quad Leaders at their first Summit on 12 March 2021. It aims to leverage Quad's collective strength to ensure the global availability of safe and effective vaccines by expanding manufacturing and assisting countries in the Indo-Pacific with vaccination.

Quad countries agreed to provide over 1.2 billion doses of Covid vaccines globally under this initiative.

Quad countries have collectively so far provided Cambodia with close to five million Covid vaccine doses bilaterally and through COVAX, added the release.

Quad countries have also provided last-mile delivery assistance to ensure that vaccines are translated into vaccinations.

Australia and Japan have provided cold storage equipment, freezers and temperature monitors along with equipment for the safety of health care workers. The US has provided assistance with surveillance and contact tracing, case investigation, training health care workers and data management.

The Cambodian government has conveyed its appreciation for the vaccines received from Quad through India and for its collective assistance to Cambodia. Quad countries have assured Cambodia about their desire to extend all possible support to combat the pandemic.

Hun Sen recalled India's key contribution to the reconstruction and development of Cambodia and encouraged further enhancement of the relations and cooperation between both nations.

While presiding over the official handover ceremony of 325,000 doses of Covishield vaccine from India to Cambodia under the Quad Vaccine Partnership, Hun Sen expressed his gratitude to India, a compassionate friend of Cambodia, reported Agence Kampuchea Presse (AKP).

"Whilst the spread of COVID-19 has subsided, and we have very well managed the COVID-19 situation, I would like to encourage the further strengthening of friendship, promotion of cooperation and strengthening of relations between Cambodia and the members of the Quad Initiative, especially between Cambodia-India in terms of trade, investment, information technology, relaxation of travel requirements and connection through direct flights, and development of tourism," underlined Hun Sen.