Colombo, Sep 6 (IANS) Four million doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines from China have arrived in Sri Lanka, as the island nation is in the midst of a large scale inoculation program against the virus.
The country's Health Ministry said the vaccines arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport from China's capital Beijing on Sunday and were handed over to health authorities, reports Xinhua news agency.
Namal Rajapaksa, the Minister of Youth and Sports, said the vaccines will be used to administer the second doses in several districts and made available to inoculate people of the 20-30-year age groups in the Western Province as well as in the Galle district in southern Sri Lanka.
State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana said the new arrival was the largest quantity of vaccines that Sri Lanka was able to procure in one consignment.
The Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka said that with the arrival of the doses on Sunday, Sri Lanka has received 22 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines till date.
According to official figures, 10,017,747 people have received their first Sinopharm doses while 7,318,575 have received both jabs.
Other vaccines being administered in the country are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Sputnik V.
Sri Lanka has detected 462,023 Covid-19 cases since March last year and reported 10,140 deaths.