China is to provide 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Sri Lanka, which is expected to be handed over in mid-February.
In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Colombo said, “Responding to recent request by the Sri Lankan government, China has decided to donate 300k coronavirus vaccine doses to Sri Lanka to jointly fight against the Covid 19 pandemic, although the production capacity of the vaccine is still limited compared with the huge domestic and international demand. The vaccine doses are expected to be handed over to Sri Lankan side in mid-February after the due procedures in both ends are completed.”
“The vaccine has received approval for public use in the UAE, Serbia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Pakistan and China etc. By 26th January, over 20 million Sinopharm doses have been administered across the world with no reports of serious adverse reactions. Foreign state leaders including the Seychelles President, Bahrain Prime Minister, Jordan Prime Minister, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Serbian Health Minister etc have received the jabs,” the statement adds.
President to receive vaccine consignment from India
Meanwhile, at a media briefing held today (27), chief advisor to the President and head of the Presidential Task Force for Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 vaccination drive – Lalith Weeratunga too said that the government expects a donation of 300,000 doses of the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
He added that discussions will be held in this regard, following a request made by the President to the Chinese government.
The first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines is to arrive in the country tomorrow (28), Mr. Weeratunga said, president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is to officially receive the consignment from the Indian High Commissioner at 11.00am at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake.
He said that the consignment would hold doses for 250,000 persons.
Once the vaccination drive is underway, the electoral register will be used to pick people to be vaccinated for Covid-19 he said. Mr. Weeratunga said that no one will be forced to obtain the vaccine and it would be a voluntary process.