ADDIS ABABA, March 30 (Xinhua) — A batch of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines, donated by the Chinese government to Ethiopia, arrived here on Tuesday.
The doses were received at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, Zhao Zhiyuan, Ethiopia Minister of Health, Lia Tadesse and Birtukan Ayano, State Minister of Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“China is the first to provide Ethiopia with vaccine aid through the bilateral inter-governmental channel, which speaks volumes of the profound traditional friendship between the two countries,” Zhao told reporters.
Zhao also disclosed the Chinese government has been donating vaccines to dozens of countries, as part of its solidarity in the fight against the pandemic.
“China has donated and is donating vaccines to 80 developing countries in urgent need, and has provided support under COVAX for emergency use of vaccines in developing countries,” Zhao said.
COVAX, an international vaccine campaign co-led by the World Health Organization and its partners, aims to speed up the development, production and fair distribution of new COVID-19 vaccines.
Lia Tadesse, Ethiopia Minister of Health, commended the latest Chinese COVID-19 donation as a testament to the solid bilateral ties between the two countries.
“Since the onset of the pandemic in the past one year, the collaboration and partnership between these two countries has really been immense, and the support of both the government of China as well as organizations, private foundations and other organizations in China have been extending their support in the fight against the pandemic to Ethiopia,” Tadesse told reporters.
“Several donations of supplies like Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), test kits, and medical equipments have been delivered. In addition, technical support and missions have been here to share experiences in how best to combat this challenging pandemic,” she further said.
Tadesse also said the donation of Sinopharm vaccines will significantly contribute to Ethiopia’s plan to vaccinate up to 20 percent of the east African country’s population.
“Today’s donation of these vaccines will have an immense contribution to this effort of the objective that we have in terms of inoculating at least up to 20 percent of the population within this year of 2021,” she said.
China has been helping Ethiopia in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak in the African country last year.
China donated several batches of medical supplies to Ethiopia last year, and a Chinese team of medical experts has been sent to Ethiopia to support its fight against the pandemic.
Ethiopia has recorded 202,545 COVID-19 cases and 2,825 COVID-19 related deaths by Monday evening. Enditem