AS the two countries began celebrations to mark establishment of their diplomatic relations, China announced to provide 0.5 million more doses of Corona vaccine as a gift for Pakistan’s frontline health workers and senior citizens. The friendly country has already delivered 0.5 million doses of the vaccine which are being administered to the health workers throughout the country.
This is, indeed, not only a manifestation of China’s deep affection for people of Pakistan but also a gesture that would help alleviate financial woes of the country at a time when it is trying to firm up arrangements to procure maximum doses of the vaccine to cover the targeted population.
The announcement came a day after Pakistan approved a $200 million loan as part of its overall plan to immunize nearly 70 million people against the deadly Covid-19 contagion during the current year.
The government has planned to procure 146.2 million doses to provide shots to 69.6 million “eligible people” or 70 per cent of the population that can be vaccinated.
China also provided vaccine for the defence forces of Pakistan, which was handed over to the Government of Pakistan for immunization of the civilian population.
The latest announcement is in continuation of the cooperation by the two countries in tackling the pandemic together, which started when Beijing extended meaningful assistance in containing the spread of the virus.
The two countries stood together by timely sharing of experiences relating to the prevention and control of the virus and mutual support in providing medical materials, setting an example for the international community to jointly fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Chinese vaccine gift is going to play an important role in Pakistan’s campaign to fight the virus especially when there are apprehensions of outbreak of a third wave.
It was practical demonstration of the stand taken by the Chinese leadership that the pandemic was a global problem and can best be overcome through joint collaborative efforts.
However, this is just one example of how Chinese care about Pakistan as their cooperation extends far beyond the realm of public health with Beijing extending huge assistance in different ways to help Pakistan achieve its socio-economic goals.