Aug 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd.) officially received a consignment of 300,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine meant for Sri Lankan Armed Forces from the Chinese Defense Attaché in Sri Lanka Senior Colonel Wan Dong at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake Saturday (28 Aug).
Responding to the media during the event, the Defense Secretary said service personnel, their families and ex-servicemen are expected to be vaccinated with the receipt of this consignment.
“Since a greater number of service personnel have been vaccinated as of now, the general public could also be facilitated using the balance amount,” he pledged.
Meanwhile, Gen. Gunaratne extended his gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Chinese Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Minister for the timely supportive measure.
Recalling the remarkable long standing relationship maintained by the two countries, Senior Col. Dong said “Chinese people won’t hesitate to extend their supportive hands in difficult times for Sri Lankans”.
This consignment of the vaccine is to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through solidarity, he added.
The Chinese Ministry of National Defense donated the consignment of vaccine following a request made by Gen. Gunaratne to the Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, during his official visit to Sri Lanka in April this year.
Gen. Gunaratne pointed out this necessity during the bilateral discussion held between two officials, to strengthen Sri Lankan Armed Forces since they are performing a dedicated role in combating the coronavirus spread, at the forefront.
The Sinopharm vaccine arrived in a SriLankan Airlines flight today is a Military Assistance to the Sri Lankan Armed Forces from PRC. The relevant documents were also signed by two officials culminating the event.
The occasion organized at BIA was held adhering to the healthcare guidelines to contain the virus spread.
Chief of Defense Staff and Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Air Force Chief of Staff Air Vice Marshal Prasanna Payo and Sri Lankan Defense Ministry Officials were also present at the occasion.