The Maldives has today received the first batch of the 200,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Chinese government.

Foreign Ministry had said that the first 100,000 doses of the vaccines were symbolically handed over to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, and the Minister of Health Ahmed Naseem, by theChines Ambassador to the Maldives, Zhang Lizhong, at a ceremony held today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Speaking at the ceremony, Foreign Minister Shahid had said the Maldives is grateful to the Chinese President Xi Jinping and the friendly people for this generous contribution to its ongoing vaccination efforts.

He had said that while the 1st batch of the vaccines arrived late last night, the 2nd batch of the vaccines is scheduled to be received by the 30th of this month.

Minister Shahid reiterated that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the Government of Maldives made a strong commitment to vaccinate the entire population of the country as soon as possible and without discrimination, irrespective of their nationality, status of residency, or where they live in the Maldives

The government had chartered a flight to China to bring over the vaccines from the country to the Maldives, in a bid to avoid disruption to the vaccination program currently underway in the country since the 1st of February.

Authorities in the Maldives had begun administering the Sinopharm vaccine developed by China earlier this month after Maldives Food and Drug Authority had given it emergency use approval.

Health Protection Agency had said last night that a total of 224, 979 people have now received the COVID vaccine in the Maldives and that this includes 125,885 from the Greater Male' Area and 99.094 from the Atolls.