“We are happy to receive this second batch which is again a sign of good collaboration and support from the Chinese government in our fight against this pandemic,” Albert Tuyishime, the head of Disease Prevention and Control Department at Rwanda Biomedical Center, told reporters at Kigali International Airport.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda has been working with the Chinese Government in terms of testing kits, treatment and vaccination deployment, according to the official.
In August, China donated the first batch of 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine that have been used to vaccinate Rwandans, contributing to the Rwandan government’s target of vaccinating 60 percent of its population to protect them against the virus.
“We are taking China as one of the leaders in promoting this equitable distribution of vaccines for COVID-19,” said Tuyishime. “And we are really encouraging others to step in so that we can have more countries accessing vaccines because we believe no one is really safe until we are all safe.”
So far about 4 million people in Rwanda have received the first COVID-19 jab while about 2 million have been fully vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health.
“China is happy to make a contribution toward Rwanda’s vaccine rollout. The donation demonstrates solidarity and friendship between China and Rwanda,” said Wang Jiaxin, the economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, noting that China appreciates the measures taken by the Rwandan government to contain the virus and revitalize its economy.
He added China is willing to join hands with Rwanda to take the opportunity of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and also the upcoming session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, to strengthen unity and coordination, further benefit the two peoples, and deepen China-Rwanda relationship even further in future cooperation.
The doses will be immediately dispatched to districts outside the Rwandan capital of Kigali and administered to eligible and priority community members, according to health officials.