Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa attended a handover ceremony of the latest batch of COVID-19 vaccine and injectors donated by China on July 27.
The two sides agreed that the new batch will be distributed among minority ethnic groups located in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Health Minister Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Douglas Devananda and other officials both from Sri Lanka and China took part in the ceremony.
Qi said that China congratulates Sri Lanka on leading the world in vaccination speed.
China is pleased and honored that about 80 percent of the vaccines used in the country so far have come from China, and the convincing scientific research conducted by the University of Sri Jayewardenepura has proven the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine's high effectiveness against the Delta variant, he said.
He said that China believes that this latest donation will provide strong support for the protection of the Sri Lankan people's lives and health, the continuous expansion of vaccination results, and the early resumption of normal economic and social life.
At the same time, the donation also shows once again that China and Sri Lanka are good neighbors, friends and partners who stand together through thick and thin, and share the same difficulties, said Qi.
On behalf of the government and people of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya expressed his heartfelt gratitude to China for the generous assistance and support it has provided to Sri Lanka many times since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Gotabaya said that he had led the Sri Lankan army in the battle against terrorist organizations and now he is leading the nation in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the critical moments of these two tough battles are all thanks to China!
He said Sri Lanka is confident that with the help of China, it will definitely complete vaccination and welcome Chinese tourists to his country as soon as possible, and the country looks forward to increase cooperation with China in agriculture, fisheries, energy and other fields in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern areas.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa attends the handover ceremony of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine donated by China to the country on March 31.
Two chartered Sri Lankan Airlines planes transporting the China-donated anti-pandemic materials from Beijing landed smoothly at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.
Qi, Wanniarachchi and Sisira Jayakody, Sri Lankan state minister of indigenous medicine promotion, received the materials on the early morning of July 27 at the airport, and the two sides signed the handover certificate on the spot. They addressed the media of both countries and granted interviews.
The chartered plane arrives in Colombo on July 27.
On-site signing of the handover certificate
In order to give full play to the relevance and effectiveness of the batch of vaccine, Qi met with P. S. M. Charles and Anuradha Yahampath, governors of Northern province and Eastern province, and exchanged views on the cooperation between China and the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka in vaccination and other fields.
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong meets with governors of Sri Lankan Northern and Eastern provinces.