LUSAKA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Monday received a fresh batch of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government.
The 400,000 doses of vaccines were received by Li Jie, the Chinese Ambassador to Zambia and Sylvia Masebo, Zambia's Health Minister, during a ceremony held at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, the country's capital.
Addressing the ceremony, the Chinese envoy said the two governments have agreed that the 1 million vaccines pledged last year will be dispatched in three batches.
The Chinese side, he said, was willing to mobilize more resources to help Zambia tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as a demonstration of the cordial relations that have existed between the two countries over the years.
The current donation was in addition to another 100,000 doses donated last year, he added.
According to him, the two countries have collaborated in the fight against the pandemic since the first case was announced in the southern African nation in March 2020, and thanked Zambia for the support rendered when China recorded its first cases in 2019.
The Zambian minister thanked China for the donation, saying this was a mark of the cordial relations that have existed between the two countries.
The Zambian minister said the arrival of the vaccines was timely as it comes at a time when the country has started administering booster vaccines as well as the introduction of the vaccines for children aged 12 years and above.
The government, the minister said, has targeted to vaccinate about 70 percent of the eligible population by June this year.
She said the friendship between the two countries was centered on a people-to-people basis despite a change of governments, adding that the mission of the current government was to continue building on the cordial relations laid by the leaders of the old generation of the two countries.
Masebo said the Zambian government was thankful to China for the support rendered over the years in various areas including the health sector and infrastructure development.