Indian and Chinese officials will have “communication and coordination” to discuss cooperation to develop COVID-19 vaccine, said Chinese foreign ministry, a day after President Xi Jinping said his country is ready to cooperate with New Delhi on vaccines development.

When asked what kind of cooperation China seeks to have with India after President Xi delivered the address during BRICS summit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “I believe competent authorities of China and India will have communication and coordination.”

“The Chinese government is willing to make contributions to achieving the accessibility and affordability of vaccine in developing countries and the building of a community of health for humankind. China is willing to promoting sustained cooperation with other countries on vaccine development and international fight against COVID-19 to defeat the virus at an early date,” he added.

There are several vaccines being developed by China. Some of them are already being administered to people on an emergency basis. Speaking at 12th BRICS summit, Xi Jinping said that China is prepared to cooperate with India and other BRICS nations in the development of vaccines against COVID-19.

Xi said: “It is important that we support WHO’s a crucial leadership role in this endeavour. As we speak, Chinese companies are working with their Russian and Brazilian partners on phase-III clinical trials of vaccines, and we are prepared to have cooperation with South Africa and India as well. China has joined the COVAX facility, a platform on which we will share vaccines with other countries, developing countries in particular.”

More than 55.94 million people are known to have been infected by COVID-19 worldwide. Some 1.344 million people have also died of the novel coronavirus, while nearly 35 million have recovered, data collated by Johns Hopkins University showed.