Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
26 May, 2021 | 9:09 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The flight carrying 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines as a donation of the Chinese government reached the island early on Wednesday morning (May 26), State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said.
According to News 1st’s airport correspondent, the consignment of Sinopharm jabs was brought to Sri Lanka aboard UL 869, which departed from the Beijing International Airport.
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Namal Rajapaksa, Prasanna Ranathunga, and D.V. Chanaka were among others who were present when the vaccine consignment arrived in the country.
Speaking to reporters, State Minister of Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals – Prof. Channa Jayasumana thanked the government of China for the biggest donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka.
“Around 1.1 million vaccines were provided to Sri Lanka by the Chinese government. This is a huge assistance to our country. The Chinese government has assisted Sri Lanka throughout history as a Superpower. Therefore, on behalf of the Sri Lankan government, we would like to extend our gratitude to the Chinese government,” Prof. Channa Jayasumana said.
Moreover, another two million doses of the Sinopharm vaccines to be purchased by the Sri Lankan government will be delivered within the coming month according to the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, the State Minister noted.
According to State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana, the Sinovac jab produced in China will soon be manufactured in Sri Lanka as well.
“We have held discussions for several months to manufacture in Sri Lanka, the other major COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in China known as Sinovac. The discussions are now successful. We hope to manufacture the Sinovac jab jointly with the Chinese government in the coming two months. The basic preparations in this regard are underway at a factory in Kundasale,” State Minister Prof. Jayasumana told reporters on Wednesday (May 26).
According to the State Minister, the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka had also informed that the Chinese government will provide a stock of medical equipment required at the moment, to Sri Lanka.
“Furthermore, another consignment of Russia’s Sputnik-V jabs will also be delivered in the coming days; a definite date of arrival and the number of vaccines could be confirmed by tomorrow,” Prof. Jayasumana further noted.
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