Staff members transfer the first batch of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine purchased by Hungary at the Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, Feb. 16, 2021. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)
BUDAPEST, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The first batch of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine purchased by Hungary arrived at Budapest on Tuesday.
The shipment was welcomed at the Liszt Ferenc International Airport by Tamas Menczer, state secretary from the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Qi Dayu.
"We are the first country in the European Union (EU) that uses Sinopharm vaccine. We try to save lives and preserve the economy, and we are fighting together with our Chinese friends against COVID-19," Menczer told Xinhua. "It is a very important day for Hungary."
Qi said that China and Hungary are fighting the coronavirus side by side and the vaccines arriving today embody China's commitments to making its vaccine a global public good.
Hungary announced on Jan. 29 that it had signed a deal to buy China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, which will allow the vaccination of 2.5 million people.
With the Sinopharm vaccine, Hungarians will have access to five vaccines against COVID-19. Hungary has also become the first EU member state to buy and authorize the use of Chinese vaccines.
On Tuesday, Hungary registered 823 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour span, raising the national total to 389,622, according to the government's website.
In the past 24 hours, 85 people have died from the virus, taking the death toll to 13,837 in the country, while 298,773 have recovered. Currently, 3,979 patients are being treated in hospitals, and 318 of them are on ventilators, it added. Enditem