Islamabad, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi received a batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from the Chinese Ambassador Mr. Nong Rong at a ceremony held at the Nur Khan Airbase today. The vaccine arrived from Beijing early morning through a special flight.
The Foreign Minister thanked the leadership and people of China for sending the gift of Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan to fight the pandemic. He added that the vaccine had arrived right at the time when Pakistan was grappling with the second wave of COVID-19. Its delivery, coinciding with commencement of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between two countries, reaffirmed the finest tradition that China always stood by Pakistan. It also showed that Pakistan-China friendship was timeless and that China was our staunchest partner.
The Foreign Minister particularly lauded President Xi Jinping’s vision that the COVID-19 vaccine, when developed, should be a ‘global public good.’ Foreign Minister Qureshi expressed special gratitude to 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, the Foreign Minister 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 vaccine.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Secretary Health Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, and Executive Director National Institute of Health (NIH) Major General Aamer Ikram were also present on the occasion.
Pakistan-China cooperation in fighting the 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.