ISLAMABAD: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) donated Covid-19 vaccines on Monday to Pakistan’s armed forces, according to a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations Director General (DG ISPR).
This is the first such donation made by the PLA to a foreign military service, the statement read. However, the DG ISPR announced that “keeping with the Pakistan Armed Forces’ traditional spirit of ‘nation comes first, always and every time’” it has been decided to donate the vaccines to frontline health workers as they were the ‘real heroes’ of the pandemic.
“Pakistan’s Armed forces extend their deepest gratitude to PLA and People’s Republic of China for this magnanimous donation during testing times,” the statement further maintained.
The donation comes a week after the first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine, also donated by China, arrived in Pakistan. The 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine were donated by Chinese President Xi Jinping and arrived at the Nur Khan Airbase with the help of a Pakistan Air Force aircraft.
The inoculation drive for the coronavirus vaccination commenced in the country on February 3rd, 2021. For the first phase of vaccination drive, 189 vaccination centres have been set up in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 280 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 44 in Balochistan and 14 in Islamabad, 25 in Azad Kashmir and 16 in Gilgit Baltistan.
According to the Sindh health department, a total of 7,349 health workers were vaccinated in the first 24 hours of the vaccine roll out in Sindh.