RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: The Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday received a batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from the Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong at a ceremony held at the Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi.
The vaccine arrived from Beijing early morning through a special flight.
In his remarks on the occasion, the prime minister thanked the leadership and people of China for sending the gift of the Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The foreign minister added that the vaccine had arrived right at the time when Pakistan was grappling with the second wave of COVID-19.
Qureshi said that the vaccine’s delivery, coinciding with the commencement of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China, reaffirmed the finest tradition that China always stood by Pakistan.
It also showed that the Pakistan-China friendship was timeless and that China was our staunchest partner, he added.
The foreign minister particularly lauded the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision that the COVID-19 vaccine, when developed, should be a ‘global public good.’
Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed special gratitude to the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi for expeditiously sending the vaccine to Pakistan.
The vaccine will be used to inoculate the front-line health workers to protect them from COVID-19 and will play an important role in saving precious human lives, he added.
It was underlined by the foreign minister that recently Phase-III clinical trials of Chinese vaccine CanSino had successfully concluded in Pakistan and Pakistan was deepening co-operation with China in the matters relating to the vaccine.
The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan, the Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, the Secretary Health Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, and the Executive Director National Institute of Health (NIH) Major General Aamer Ikram were also present on the occasion.
Pakistan-China cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, since its outbreak, has been exemplary.
Pakistan firmly supported China’s global and regional initiatives aimed at controlling the pandemic.
Pakistan has supported China-led regional forums that are meaningfully engaged in containing the pandemic and resuming economic activities across the region.