Djibouti receives first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from China

2021-03-18 17:05:42 GMT2021-03-19 01:05:42(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ADDIS ABABA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Djibouti on Thursday received the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines made by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, which will help the African country's immunization campaign against the pandemic.

The Chinese COVID-19 vaccines arrived on Thursday morning at Djibouti city Ambouli International airport at a ceremony attended by Chinese ambassador to Djibouti, Zhuo Ruisheng, Djiboutian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Ali Youssouf and Djiboutian Health Minister, Mohamed Warsama Dirieh.

Zhuo said Djibouti is the first east African country to receive vaccines from China, which underscores the high importance China puts on its multifaceted relationship with the Horn of Africa country.

China has provided and is providing COVID-19 vaccine aid free of charge to 69 developing countries in urgent need, while exporting vaccines to 43 countries, according to official figures.

The Chinese ambassador to Djibouti also said viruses know no borders, and as such international solidarity is needed to make COVID-19 vaccines affordable and available to all who need it.

Youssouf for his part commended China's solidarity in Djibouti's anti-COVID-19 efforts including through the rapid supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the Horn of Africa nation.

"China has shown it stands firm in its solidarity with Djibouti in a difficult time, through the quick anti-COVID-19 support it extended," he said.

"The arrival of the Chinese vaccine will greatly facilitate the smooth progress of the Djibouti government's nationwide vaccination program and further enhance Djibouti ability to fight the pandemic," the Djiboutian Foreign Minister further said.

Djibouti had recorded 6,385 COVID-19 cases and 63 COVID-19 related deaths as of Thursday noon.

Djibouti recorded its first case of COVID-19 exactly one year ago. Enditem