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China donates 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ethiopia

Updated: Aug 24,2021 08:45 AM    Xinhua

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia received 300,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the Chinese government on the morning of Aug 23.

The COVID-19 vaccine doses were received at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport by Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Zhao Zhiyuan, Ethiopia Minister of Health Lia Tadesse and Getahun Mekuria, Ethiopia Minister of Education.

"Today we're here to receive the third batch donation of around 300,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine, which is going to really enhance our effort to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a country," Tadesse told reporters.

"This support and donations come at a very critical time where we need to really enhance our strategy of prevention in addition to our non-pharmaceutical interventions which is rolling out vaccines especially to those who need it the most," she further said.

The Ethiopia health minister also commended China for the comprehensive anti-COVID-19 support it has provided Ethiopia so far.

"The government of China has been really supporting the country's efforts in mitigating the pandemic since the beginning of the pandemic in many ways, not only in vaccine support but also in Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) supplies, supply of test kits and technical support from the experiences they've had," Tadesse elaborated.

Ethiopia, Africa's second-most populous nation, has so far reported the highest COVID-19 caseload in the East Africa region.

The east African country had reported 295,804 COVID-19 cases and 4,561 COVID-19 related deaths as of the morning of Aug 23.

The Ethiopia Minister of Education Getahun Mekuria also commended China for providing the latest batch of COVID-19 vaccines, which will mainly be administered to those engaged in the education sector.

"What makes me very happy today is that this vaccine which we're receiving from the Chinese government is focused primarily for the education sector and I would like to say that I am representing all of my 700,000 teachers to say thank you very much," said Mekuria.

The Ethiopia education minister also said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Ethiopia's education sector in multiple ways.

"During the last one year when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Ethiopia one of the major sectors hit hard is the education sector. It's not only the interruption of the education sector, but also we've lost a large number of our teachers," he said.

The Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia Zhao Zhiyuan, disclosed the Asian country has provided about 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Ethiopia so far underscoring strong commitment to help the east African country's health sector.

"Up to now, China has provided a total of 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Ethiopia, which have been widely used in health, defense and other fields," Zhao said.

"China is committed to deepening cooperation with Ethiopia on education and public health capacity, and tackling the challenge of the pandemic in solidarity with Ethiopia," he further said.

Zhao also underlined the two countries' health sector partnership as an example of multifaceted bilateral cooperation.

"As the comprehensive strategic cooperative partner of Ethiopia, China will continue to help Ethiopia fight the virus through various channels and try our best to provide support," Zhao said.

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