A consignment comprising 600,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, gifted by China to Sri Lanka were handed over to Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China today (30) at the embassy in Beijing.
According to a statement by the embassy, the consignment was handed over by Mr. Chen Song, Deputy Director General of the Asia Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, in the presence of Ms. Shi Shengyi, Deputy General Manager of China National Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd. (Sinopharm), Chairman of the Board of the China Sinopharm International Corporation.
The gift of vaccines was made in response to a written request made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to the Chinese President – Xi Jinping.
“Dr. Kohona, thanked the government and the people of China for gifting the vaccines. He recalled the historic bonds between the two countries and the support extended to each other, including in the international fora,” the statement further adds.
The National Medicines Regulatory Authority announced that permission has been granted to accept the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines from China.
Speaking at the Cabinet press briefing earlier today, co-cabinet spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the consignment will only be administered to the Chinese nationals living in Sri Lanka.
He added that the Sinopharm vaccine would be administered to the local population as soon as it receives WHO clearance.
(Pics : Facebook Page of Sri Lankan embassy in China)