Sinopharm jabs to be given from April 5 | Daily News
COVID 19 vaccines donated by China unloaded at BIA:

Sinopharm jabs to be given from April 5

First doses for Chinese nationals in SL:

China donated a consignment of 600,000 doses of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on a request made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from Chinese President Xi Jinping. The stocks arrived yesterday at the Bandaranaike International Airport, via SriLankan Airlines Flight 869 from Beijing. Here President Rajapaksa accepts the consignment from Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong. Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena and Prasanna Ranatunga and State Ministers Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle and Prof. Channa Jayasumana were also present. Inset: (INSET) The vaccine stocks unloaded from the aircraft.
Pictures courtesy President’s Media Division

Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong officially handed over a batch of the Sinopharm vaccine donated by the Chinese Government to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo yesterday.

The vaccination of Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka with the Sinopharm vaccine will commence on Monday. The National Medicines Regulatory Authority says that the vaccination of Sri Lankans will begin after a study by a committee of experts.

The consignment of vaccines was presented to Sri Lanka upon a request by President Rajapaksa to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The Sinopharm vaccine has been manufactured by a biotech pharmaceutical company based in the Chinese capital Beijing.

SriLankan Airlines flight UL869 carrying the 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport at 11.28 a.m.

The vaccine was stored in the aircraft’s special cold storage compartment and will be stored in the Airport premises until its delivery to the Central Vaccine Storage Complex of the Ministry of Health using refrigerated vehicles.

Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong and Minister of State Prof. Channa Jayasumana signed the documents pertaining to the donation of the vaccine stock.

During the ceremony of handing over 600,000 doses of vaccines to the President as a New Year gift and greetings from Chinese people to Sri Lankan people, Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong said that the arrival of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from China once again demonstrates the close ties between the two countries and peoples.

Ambassador Qi also appreciated the mutual solidarity between China-Sri Lanka.

“We jointly welcome the arrival of the 600,000 doses vaccines, a gift by Chinese people to the Sri Lankan people,” Ambassador Qi said.

“This Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had a wonderful phone conversation, and reached a broad and important consensus, which will be the strategic and fundamental guidance for the future development of our bilateral relationship.”

“The arrival of the vaccines once again demonstrates the close friendship and brotherhood between our two countries and peoples and implemented the commitment of President Xi Jinping in making the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines a global public good. It shows once again that solidarity is the only right way for the international community to defeat the pandemic at an early date and build a global community of health for mankind,” the Ambassador said.

“Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all departments and friends from the two sides who participated in the transportation and handing over of the vaccines,” he added.

He said that China and Sri Lanka are good neighbours looking out for each other, good friends treating each other with equality and trust and good partners in mutually-beneficial cooperation. At the early stage of pandemic in China, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and people from all walks of life in Sri Lanka all expressed their strongest support to China. After the virus outbreak in Sri Lanka, it was China who first provided medical supplies and financial support. Sri Lanka was also among the first countries to which China donated vaccines.

“It is particularly worth mentioning that the Sri Lanka Government has decided to include Chinese nationals in its vaccination plan. In this regard, on behalf of China, I would like to extend our highest appreciation for this most friendly gesture,” the Ambassador said.

“Withstanding the test of the pandemic, I firmly believe the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership based on sincere, mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship will elevate to a new level.”

“We do believe, under the strong leadership of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka will certainly overcome the pandemic at an early date, embrace socio-economic recovery and development, and make greater achievements in the post-COVID era,” said Ambassador Qi.

Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena, Prasanna Ranatunga, State Ministers Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Tharaka Balasuriya, Chinese Special Envoy, Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Health Secretary Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, several Ministerial Secretaries and Health Sector Heads were also present.