ISLAMABAD, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The third batch of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government was handed over to the Pakistani side during a ceremony here on Monday.
Addressing the handover ceremony, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, on behalf of the Pakistani government, thanked the Chinese government and people for providing the vaccine aid.
Protecting life and the livelihood of the people is of the utmost importance for the Pakistani government, Khan said, adding that Pakistan is facing a serious third wave of COVID-19 and the newly-arrived vaccine doses will help the country to build immunity amongst its society to save life.
The Pakistani minister said that Pakistan and China are "iron brothers," and the special friendship is between the two governments as well as the two peoples.
On the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said that Pakistan is not only the first country in the world that the Chinese government provided COVID-19 vaccine aid to, but also the country that has received the largest number of China-donated COVID-19 vaccines so far, which is a vivid manifestation of the ironclad friendship between the two countries.
China will continue to support Pakistan's fight against the pandemic, Nong said, adding that the Chinese embassy will always serve as a bridge to promote bilateral friendly cooperation and forge a closer China-Pakistan community of shared future in the new era.
The third batch of Chinese government-donated vaccines arrived in Pakistan on Saturday. Earlier, the Chinese government has aided two batches of vaccines to Pakistan, and the Chinese military also donated a batch of vaccines to the Pakistani army. And Pakistan has also purchased several consignments of COVID-19 vaccines from China.
To control the third wave of COVID-19, the Pakistani government has been pushing forward the vaccination drive on the one hand, and tightening the anti-epidemic measures on the other, including closing educational institutes in areas with over 5 percent COVID-19 positivity rate. Enditem