By Liu Tian and Li Hao
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 9 -- A handover ceremony of the COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) to Pakistan's armed forces was held at the Nur Khan Airbase near Pakistan's capital Islamabad.
Maj. Gen. Chen Wenrong, defense attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, and Pakistani Lt. Gen. Nigar Johar, surgeon general of the Pakistan army, attended the handover ceremony.
On the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Chen expressed that a batch of China-gifted COVID-19 vaccines were handed over to the Pakistani side a week ago, making Pakistan the first country in the world to receive the Chinese government-donated COVID-19 vaccines. Now the vaccines donated by the Chinese military to the Pakistani military has also arrived, making Pakistani military the first foreign military to receive the COVID-19 vaccine aid from the Chinese military. All these have demonstrated the unbreakable friendship between the two iron brothers". This batch of COVID-19 vaccines will play an important role in the cooperation between two countries and two militaries to fight the pandemic, Chen added.
Thanking the Chinese military for providing the vaccines, Lt. Gen. Johar stressed that in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan last year, the supply aid and medical experts from the Chinese military had played a key role in effectively containing the epidemic in Pakistan. Now, the Chinese military has provided the Pakistani military with the much-needed vaccines in a timely fashion. The Pakistani side is deeply grateful for this, said Johar.
According to a statement released by Pakistani army's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Monday, the Chinese military-backed vaccines will be included in Pakistan's national vaccination drive for frontline healthcare workers.