by Chanthaphaphone Mixayboua
VIENTIANE, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Lao people have shown their appreciation to China on the internet or when interviewed with Xinhua, after receiving the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong officially handed over the vaccine to Vice President of Laos Phankham Viphavanh in Lao capital Vientiane on Monday.
"In my opinion, the arrival of the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine has added calm and confidence to Lao people, especially frontline medical staff, in the fight against the pandemic," said Thanousinh Simeaung, a 32-year-old man and resident of Vientiane.
Sonthany Simahano, a 28 year-old-man told Xinhua that China is assisting Laos in many ways. "I am very grateful that Lao people has a chance to be vaccinated against COVID-19."
"I heard that China has been providing vaccine assistance to many countries. I hope we will overcome the pandemic sooner," said Khambai Vila, a 34-year-old woman in Vientiane.
Many Lao people also showed their appreciation through social media platforms.
A netizen named Sisouda Sophavandy said, "China's assistance has helped improve Laos' capability to combat COVID-19, thank you for your support!"
A netizen named Anusith Seesuphan said, "Thank you for the timely support to Laos! Your assistance made us feel warm and touched!"
Addressing the handover ceremony on Monday, Vice President Phankham spoke highly of China's achievements against COVID-19, noting that China, while advancing COVID-19 prevention and control efforts at home, have delivered strong support to Laos' fight against the virus by sending medical expert teams and providing a large number of anti-epidemic supplies.
The Lao side has found the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective in the earlier emergency use in certain high-risk personnel in Laos, he said.
According to the Lao Ministry of Health, the priority group in line for vaccinations are medical staff, officials working at land border crossings and airports, and elderly people living in risky communities such as border areas where there have been reports of illegal migration.
The total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Laos remains at 45, and 41 of them have recovered. Another four infected cases are treated in designated hospitals.
Laos confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases on March 24. Enditem