A batch of China-donated COVID-19 vaccines arrives at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh via the COVAX Facility on Aug. 13, 2021. (Xinhua)
-- Bangladesh received another 5 million doses of Chinse Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines this Saturday. Last month, Bangladesh also signed an agreement with China to co-product the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine doses domestically.
-- Sri Lanka received 4 million doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines on Saturday. According to the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, 26 million Sinopharm vaccines have arrived in Sri Lanka to date.
DHAKA/COLOMBO, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh on Saturday received another 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's pharmaceutical Sinopharm Group.
A plane of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Chinese vaccine doses landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at around 2:00 a.m. local time Saturday, Health Ministry spokesman Maidul Islam Prodhan told reporters.
Abu Zaher, chief health coordinator at Bangladesh's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, received the consignment at the airport.
Earlier on Sept. 11, 5.4 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived in Dhaka from China.
A medical worker inoculates a man with a dose of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 19, 2021. (Xinhua)
Bangladesh's vaccination drive is now running smoothly in the capital Dhaka and elsewhere largely thanks to China's continued vaccine support.
To fight the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases, Bangladesh has signed an agreement on the co-production of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine doses locally.
Bangladesh began the COVID-19 vaccination drive in January to contain the pandemic that has spread across the country.
The Bangladeshi government subsequently halted administering the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine after India banned vaccine exports.
In June, the vaccination drive resumed in parts of the country with the China-donated Sinopharm vaccine.
Bangladesh has so far received around 25 million Sinopharm vaccine doses from China.
Sri Lankan authorities on Saturday received 4 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines shipped from China as a mass scale vaccination program against the COVID-19 is presently underway in the country.
People line up to receive the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Sept. 6, 2021. (Photo by Gayan Sameera/Xinhua)
The vaccines arrived at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport onboard two Sri Lankan Airlines flights from Beijing, capital of China.
Officials said the consignment was taken to the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC)'s main warehouse complex by vehicles with freezer facilities.
The Chinese Embassy in Colombo said that the arrival of this consignment of vaccines was the final batch in the contract signed by Sri Lanka's SPC and with this, 26 million Sinopharm vaccines have arrived in Sri Lanka to date.
This has supported more than 80 percent of Sri Lanka's vaccination drive, the Chinese Embassy said.
Boxes containing Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines donated by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China are seen at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Aug. 28, 2021. (Sri Lankan Defense Ministry/Handout via Xinhua)
Official statistics showed that the Sinopharm vaccine was the leading vaccine used across the country with 10,886,678 doses administered as the first dose till Friday and 8,973,670 administered as the second dose.
Other vaccines being administered are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Sputnik V.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier this month instructed authorities to complete vaccinating those above the age of 30 by this month. The country has to date detected 500,772 positive COVID-19 patients since March last year and reported 11,938 deaths.■