GEORGETOWN, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Guyana on Tuesday received a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to help the country combat the pandemic.
Guyana's Minister of Health Frank Anthony and Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Guyana Chen Xilai welcomed the shipment at an airport in Guyana's capital Georgetown and signed official documents on the handover of the vaccines.
During the ceremony, Anthony conveyed gratitude to the Chinese people and the government on behalf of Guyanese President Irfaan Ali, the Guyanese government and people.
He said it is the first time that Guyana has received COVID-19 vaccines directly donated by a foreign government, which arrived on time and will be immediately used to inoculate frontline health workers.
Anthony hailed China's donation of the vaccines developed by pharmaceutical group Sinopharm, saying it is one of the best vaccines in the world and proved effective.
China has been supporting Guyana since the outbreak and the donation this time is another example of cooperation between the two countries in jointly combatting the pandemic, he added.
For his part, Chen said the donations have opened a new chapter in bilateral cooperation.
The donation is also China's efforts to make Chinese COVID-19 vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to developing countries, said Chen.
He believes that Guyana could overcome the pandemic as soon as possible and the friendship between China and Guyana will grow stronger.
Guyana has granted emergency use approval of China's Sinopharm and Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
Guyana has started the first phase of its national vaccination campaign, mainly targeting frontline medics.
According to the latest report from Guyana's Ministry of Health, 8,626 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak, and 197 people have died from the disease.