Pakistan, China sign HOC for ‘Third Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Aid

China Economic Net

Islamabad: Pakistan and China on Monday signed the Handing over Certificate (HOC) for ‘Third Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Aid.

Under this batch, Government of China provided 500,000 vials of COVID-19 vaccine under grant assistance. Under the first and second batch of COVID-19 vaccine donation, 1 Million doses of Sinopharm vaccine were donated by the Chinese Government. This will help to vaccinate the priority population and control the spread of the disease. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Mr. Omar Ayub Khan witnessed the signing ceremony of a Handing over Certificate (HOC) for ‘Third Batch of COVID-19 Vaccine Aid’ along with Nong Rong, Ambassador of Republic of China in Pakistan.

The government has decided to expedite the process of vaccination to the people. The daily vaccination would soon touch 100,000 persons per day basis. The government had already approved $150 million for the procurement of vaccine for COVID-19 pandemic. According to the officials, the government is seeking $90 million from Islamic Development Bank for purchasing the vaccines. The allocated amount will go up to $240 million for obtaining vaccine, said an official statement.

Minister for Planning and Development and Chairman of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar has recently said that Pakistan had so far procured 6 million vaccine doses. He said that the government made a plan for providing vaccines to 70 million people by December 31, 2021. “In today’s NCOC, meeting decided to open up registration of 40 plus age citizens starting tomorrow. Also decision taken to allow walk-in vaccination of all registered citizens of 50 plus age group,” Umar tweeted. “If you are 40 years or older please register and encourage others to register.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs discussed the bilateral economic relations between the two countries with the Ambassador in his office. During the meeting Pakistan-China economic relations, implementation of CPEC projects and other matters of mutual interest were also discussed. He at the outset re-iterated the firm commitment of the Government of Pakistan to the security of all Chinese persons working on different projects in Pakistan. The Minister lauded the Government of China for supporting infrastructure and energy projects in Pakistan.

The Minister emphasized that after development of necessary infrastructure the focus should be towards industrialization and poverty alleviation. He highlighted that the socioeconomic projects agreed therein are in line with the vision of the incumbent government for socio-economic uplift of the common people and enhanced economic activities in the country. The progress of the ongoing projects was also discussed which is satisfactory despite the pandemic situation.

Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong conveyed his best wishes to the Minister for Economic Affairs for assuming new portfolio. Ambassador Nong Rong also reaffirmed Chinese support to Pakistan on issues of mutual interest. He reiterated that the Government of China will continue supporting the Government of Pakistan to tackle the COVID-19. The Minister for Economic Affairs also appreciated the Chinese assistance for combating COVID-19 pandemic and locust attack.

Both sides reiterated strong commitment towards further expanding bilateral economic cooperation.