By Ayya Lmahamad
China has provided 150,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Azerbaijan free of charge, the health ministry has reported.
A signing ceremony for the corresponding supply act was held at Azerbaijan’s Health Ministry on April 27.
The event was addressed by Deputy Health Minister Viktor Gasimov, Foreign Ministry’s State Protocol Department Head Ramil Rzayev, and Chinese Ambassador Guo Min.
Noting that China is a reliable partner of Azerbaijan, the deputy minister thanked the Chinese side for the imported vaccines, adding that bilateral cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 will continue.
In turn, the ambassador expressed her gratitude for organizing the transfer ceremony dedicated to the free delivery of 150,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Azerbaijan.
She emphasized that China and Azerbaijan supported each other in fight against the pandemic at the bilateral and multilateral levels, cooperated, and helped each other in difficult times. Guo Min stressed that both countries made an important contribution to the development of international cooperation to combat pandemic, protecting global security and developing interests.
The ambassador noted that China and Azerbaijan have a reliable partnership and are ready to deepen these relations.
Expressing his gratitude to the Chinese government for the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, Rzayev noted that both countries remaining faithful to the traditions of friendship and cooperation showed solidarity with each other in the current situation.
He noted the high level of relations between Azerbaijan and China and the dynamic development of cooperation in all spheres. He expressed confidence that the high-level political dialogue between the two countries, based on mutual understanding and trust, will continue, as well as bilateral relations, will continue to expand.
During the meeting, Deputy Health Minister Viktor Gasimov and Chinese Ambassador Guo Min signed the "Acts of delivery of COVID-19 pandemic vaccine by the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Azerbaijan".
China has created a “green corridor” for the timely delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Azerbaijan. It should be noted that the "green corridor" implies customs control in an accelerated mode.
Azerbaijan started vaccinating citizens using China’s Sinovac vaccines on January 18. The nationwide vaccination is free and on a voluntary basis and is in line with the “Strategy of vaccination against COVID-19 in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022”.
As of April 26, 1,423,660 COVID-19 vaccines have been provided to Azerbaijani citizens. The first dose of the vaccine was given to 939,460 citizens, and the second one to 484,200 citizens.
Azerbaijan confirmed its first COVID-19 case on February 28, 2020. The country introduced a special quarantine regime on March 25 and took a number of measures to fight COVID-19 in the country. Moreover, the government allocated $1.1bn from the 2020 budget to fight the coronavirus infection.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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